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Alumni Unintended laughs of ’06, page 4 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ January 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 1 

Year in review ’06 

A turbulent year for 
journalism and politics 

Fasten your seat belts and anticipate a bumpier ride in ’07 


The week - the seven days - that just ended before press time included: 

• The passing of universally respected [and monumentally cool] CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, 65. 

• The ouster of highly regarded Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet over his bottom-line 
conflicts with the paper’s corporate owner, Tribune Company. 

• A serious bid for that same Tribune media empire by two Los Angeles-based billionaires. 

• A mid-term election in which Democrats gained control of the U.S. House and Senate 
for the first time in a dozen years. 

• The mid-war resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld the morning after. 

• The Massachusetts victory of Deval Patrick, only the second African-American elected 
governor in U.S. history. 



The year in the rear-view mirror has delivered some heavy turbulence to anyone concerned about 
journalism and politics. Often the two collided - sometimes in ways no one could have anticipated 
12 months ago. Back then, was anyone over 21 even aware of YouTube? That’s the online video 

Continued on page 2 

Black Alumni Network 

January 2007 

Page 2 

clearinghouse that carried footage of Virginia U.S. Senate candidate George Allen’s dissing an Indian 
American from his rival’s campaign as a “macaca,” or the corrosive Republican-funded campaign ad 
that tried to portray Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. as a player fixated on white women. 
The rapid dissemination of those video clips almost certainly contributed to each contender’s defeat. 

At this writing, YouTube’s just alerted the media and the public to another police-involved beating 
in Los Angeles, assuming the role broadcast TV news played in disseminating the Rodney King 
video 15 years ago. 

If you were a working journalist then, this’ll make you feel really old: Fox News reached its 10 th 
anniversary and MTV hit the quarter-century mark this year. 

Also at the intersection of politics and journalism, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times defended 
their publication of war-related information against Bush administration accusations they were unpatriotic 
at best, treasonous at worst. And Robin Givhan of the Washington Post [home to the ambitious year-long 
multimedia project “Being A Black Man”] picked up a Pulitzer for her incisive examination of what clothes 
say about the high-profile power brokers who wear them. 

Mainstream journalism suffered serious blows as it struggled to determine how to deliver information in a 
cost-effective way. Nobody knows how many rounds this less-than-thrilla spectacle will continue. 

Advertisers’ expansion into ever-newer media, coupled with shareholders’ hunger for ever-higher profit 
margins, shoved Tribune Company into the ring and KO’ed Knight Ridder. Media General and McClatchy 
played fight doctor to KR even as they warned the employees of their newly acquired properties that staff 
reductions were inevitable. 

Dozens of journalists of color took buyouts or landed at the bumpy end of the layoff chute. 

The malaise spread to media companies we used to think of as “new.” The wider availability 
of broadband forced dialup-dependent AOL to reinvent itself, offering its e-mail service 
for free and jettisoning a quarter of its employees. 

Who could have imagined that within this media environment black-themed news and information 
outlets would offer glimmers of opportunity and hope? For the first time in 13 years, the Chicago Defender 
reported a profit, under its take-no-prisoners editor Roland Martin, who at the year end announced he’ll 
leave the publication for “prospects unknown.” 

Also in Chicago, NABJ president and former Knight Ridder executive Bryan Monroe saddled up with 

Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network 

January 2007 

Page 3 

Johnson Publications after the market shot KR out from under him. He’s brought Wil Laveist 
and Sylvester Monroe along for one challenging ride - restoring journalistic luster and cutting-edge 
relevance to the venerable Ebony and Jet. 

Radio One launched a black-focused national foray into the highly profitable talk radio format. 

From the public end of the broadcast spectrum, Tavis Smiley launched a best-seller, “The Covenant 
with Black America” while holding down a nightly PBS interview program and a weekly radio show 
on Public Radio International. Black Enterprise established a presence on syndicated TV and positioned Ed 
Gordon as anchor after he departed National Public Radio’s “News and Notes.” The multi-talented Farai 
Chideya, with an assist from Tony Cox, assumed the lead position on that daily NPR show as former ABC 
Nightline correspondent Michel Martin prepared for the imminent launch of her own NPR program. 

In the year ahead, these and other news organizations will face the challenges of covering 
the phenomena that shaped the electoral result: 

• A Iraq war likely to stretch on longer than World War II at escalating cost to lives - this war has 
killed more journalists than the U.S.-Vietnam conflict - and budgets - New York Times war 
correspondent Dexter Filkins, on leave this year, declared that his company is “burning money 
like jet fuel” to maintain its Baghdad bureau. 

• The consequences of global warming that finally worked mainstream America’s nerves 

as former vice president A1 Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” became one of the highest-grossing 
documentaries ever. 

• The long slog of resurrecting the Gulf Coast region and its residents from the effects of hurricanes 
Katrina and Rita - an ongoing story that scored Pulitzer Prizes for the Times-Picayune and the 
Biloxi Sun-Herald at great personal expense to their staffs. 

• The cultural chum that delivered the best picture Oscar to “Crash” and the best song statuette to 
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” and added promotional heft to veteran journalist Juan Williams’ 
latest book “Enough! The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are 
Undermining Black America - and What We Can Do About It.” 

• Not to mention the unfolding drama surrounding U.S. Senator and best-selling author Barack 
Obama, portending more plot twists than seven seasons of “The West Wing.” 

A late addendum: Major props to one more giant who won’t be making the journey into the next year with 
us. Gerald Boyd, the first and only African American managing editor of the New York Times, died of 
complications from lung cancer on Thanksgiving Day. He was 56 years old. He oversaw two of his 
newspaper’s recent Pulitzer-winning efforts: coverage of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and its kaleidoscopic 
series on race in America. Boyd was tough, blunt, supremely focused on doing the work as well as it could 
be done, and on opening doors for others to do it too - including Jayson Blair, the young hotshot whose 
fabrications led to both their departures from the Times three years ago. At the time of his death Boyd was 
associated with the J-School, helping to create non-fiction case studies that would expose students to the 
real-world dilemmas journalists face in every newsroom. Fred Friendly would have been proud. 

We also note the passing of novelist and longtime magazine contributor Bebe Moore Campbell, who died 
of brain cancer at age 56. She counted many journalists among her friends and she enthusiastically 
supported several black journalism and educational institutions. 

Fasten your seat belts. Make sure your tray tables are in their locked and upright position. 

Looks like another turbulent year ahead. 

Cheryl Derail J- '82 is a news editor at public radio station KPCC in Los Angeles. 

Photo credits: [Ed Bradley]; [Dean Baquet]; 
[Bebe Moore Campbell]; [Robin Givhan], 
[Roland Martin] and Daily Trojan [Cheryl Devall photo]. 

Black Alumni Network January 2007 Page 4 

last laughs of 2006 were not meant to be funny 

The closing days of 2006 were tunny, often in a not-what-was-intended ways. In news editing class, 

I run 14 students through mock news meetings. My editors “sell stories” they’ve read Sundays in the 
New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun or Hampton Roads, Va. papers. 

Recently, a student asked “what’s up with this KGB?” The term turned up often 
in press accounts because of the poisoning of a Russian spy who blabbed about the 
murder of a Russian journalist. I explained that KGB was part of America’s 
common language back in the 1970s and ’80s when the United States and an evil 
empire called the Soviet Union threatened to nuke the world. My students laughed 
at me. “Oh Professor Dawkins, you’re so funny!” as in the stuff I’d described 
couldn’t have happened. I commiserate with Judi Dench’s character in the new 
James Bond movie. She said dryly, “I miss the Cold War.” 

It’s amusing to see how contrite President George W. Bush was in the final days of 
the year. His cowboy bravado was gone; he’d met his match. At a meet-and- greet 
Wayne Dawkins/Commentary session with new members of Congress, U.S. Senator-elect Jim Webb of Virginia 
tried to avoid a handshake with the president. When the commander-in-chief boxed him in with the 
greeting “How’s your boy,” Webb, the father of a Marine deployed in the war said, “I’d like to get them out 
of Iraq.” An annoyed Bush countered “that’s not what I asked you.” The former boxer and Navy secretary 
told the president that conversations about his son’s well being are “between me and my boy.” Ouch. 

Other people have dodged or dissed Bush lately. The Iraqi Prime Minister stood the president up at a state 
dinner. No head of state in recent memory has done that. The P.M. was probably miffed by the leaked Bush 
administration memo that questioned his competence. Then Bush announced he would address the nation 
before the year ended about the Iraq Study Group report then changed his mind. We’ll get the word 
sometime in January, Bush promised. The “bring it on” swagger may be gone, but the tally of dead and 
maimed Americans and Iraqis continues to grow. That’s not funny. 

Neither are the motives of other countries in the region. Saudi Arabia expressed alarm that the Iraq Study 
Group report calls for a gradual pullout of U.S. forces. If that happens, Saudi leaders say, the Sunni Muslim 
minority - Saddam Hussein’s people - are vulnerable to the Shiite majority. Did I note that the Saudi’s are 
Sunnis? On NPR, I heard several political analysts say that the Iranians, Saudis and Syrians want U.S. 
forces to stay longer in order to weaken them. That scenario reminds me of a story a pastor once offered 
about the real meaning of “Go the extra mile.” One of the most memorable lines attributed to Jesus, she 
said, probably comes from the passive-aggressive games peasants played on the occupiers. Oppressed 
peoples wore down the soldiers by deciding not to get with the oppressor’s program. At the turn of the year, 
Iraq’s neighbors may get their wish. Beltway strategists say they may have to send more troops to Iraq 
before the U.S. can pull its forces out of there. That’s funny thinking, but nobody is laughing. 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338_ 

108 Terrell Road 
P.O. Box 6693 
Newport News, VA 23606 


Alumni Expanding MLK story, 2 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ February 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 2 

Is regional war inevitable in E. Africa? 

’92 l-alum framed key questions in Q&A 

Milton Allimadi, ’92, publisher of the New York-based Black Star newspaper, was a scheduled speaker at 
a Jan. 10 Africa Roundtable forum titled “Somalia: Is a regional war inevitable?” that was co-sponsored by 
Global Information Network and Alwan for the Arts. Allimadi, author of 
“The Heart of Darkness” was to engage in a Q&A with Rutgers University 
African History Professor Said Sheikh Samatar. 

The announcement from Global Information Network explained: “In the last 
days of December, Ethiopian fighter jets bombed Somalia's Mogadishu airport 
- a move said to be in defense of Somalia’s Federal Transitional Government 
based in Baidoa. Thousands were reported dead as the Ethiopians routed the 
Union of Islamic Courts, in a move that had full U.S. support. Martial law has 
been declared and Ethiopia has announced its intention to remain in the 
country for at least several weeks. Experts on the region fear that Somalia 
conflagration could set off a fierce proxy war, fueled by the rival interests of 
10 other countries, including Eritrea, Kenya, and Djibouti.” 

[PHOTO from] 

Consider this the midwinter overset edition. Offered here is expanded People news, what 
Columbia journalism alumni were doing recently, and news and notes that were held up 
because of space. Remember friends, let us know what’s going on. - The editors _ 

Evelyn C. White, ’85, celebrated her 52 nd birthday late last year in Barcelona and she described the special 
meal prepared in her honor in a Sept. 30 “Postcards” article for The 
Vancouver Sun of Canada. “...Senora Pons speared a prawn and plopped it 
in her mouth. ‘Son buenas [they’re good],’ she announced,” wrote White. 
“With that the party was on! The seafood platter and gargantuan salad 
circled the bar several times before we all had our fill. The champagne 
flowed!” White also told us that at a golf tournament in Canada, she won 
prizes for best putter and most improved golfer since 2005. 

Something to do with White knocking 21 strokes offher score. 

[PHOTO by Gina Gayle] 

Crystal Howard, '02, has joined ESPN as director, communications, 
reported Columbia J-school e-news. In this role, she will be responsible for 
publicity and media relations relating to the company’s ESPN Enterprises 
division - consumer products, home entertainment and branded experiences, ESPN Interactive, ESPN 
Direct and ESPN Zones. Howard will also oversee publicity for ESPN Publishing, which includes ESPN 
Books and ESPN The Magazine. 

In a Newsweek “My Turn” online commentary Oct. 12, Max Smith, ’89, wrote a piece titled 
“Oh for the flesh: Single and fortyish, I’m learning what it means to be attractive but older.” 

Check out the article at 

Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network February 2007 Page 2 

‘Advocate of Social Gospel’ expands MIK story 

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Oakland was the first stop 
for the play “Passages of King.” Next month, 
the performances move to an international 
stage - Beijing. 

“And yes,” said Claiborne Carson, anticipating 
journalists’ questions, “The dialogue will be in 

Late last fall about 30 
William Monroe 
Trotter Group 
columnists listened to 
a presentation by 
Carson, Stanford 
University professor 
and creator of the 
Martin Luther King Jr. 
Research and 
Education Institute. 

It is encouraging 
Wayne Dawklns/Commentary that on the 
21 st anniversary of the federal MLK National 
Holiday and 78 th year since his birth, there is 
a movement to archive and publish new 
knowledge about King. 

The breaking news when we met was the 
anticipated release of the sixth volume of 14 
of the MLK Papers, “Advocate of the Social 
Gospel, September 1948-March 1963.” 

Carson told us that the book, scheduled for 
release Feb. 15 [$65, University of California 
Press], shows that King held unorthodox views 
beyond traditional Christian beliefs such as the 
need to be “bom again” or assumptions that 
Jesus was the son of a virgin. 

These assertions might shock many readers, yet 
Carson’s cautions did not stun me. Two decades 
ago when I read biographies on King by Stephen 
Oates, Taylor Branch and David Garrow, I noted 
King’s intellectual struggles with varied spiritual 
and social justice ideas when he was a seminary 
school student. 

Indeed, MLK was a Trinitarian Baptist preacher, 
yet he synthesized many ideas in order to preach 
and persuade millions to embrace a non-violent 
yet fierce spiritual and social justice movement. 

King donated his papers to Boston University in 
the mid-1960s, so what could Carson and 
Stanford have left to mine? 

Carson explained that the Boston University 
papers - 83,000 documents according to 1990s 
New York Times accounts - covered MLK’s 
public life. “Advocate of the Social Gospel” 
Volume Six is private material found in the 
1990s in the basement of the Auburn Avenue, 
Atlanta home where widow Coretta Scott King 
[1927-2006] resided. 

Available were materials 
MLK used to prepare his 
sermons, which King rarely 
wrote out in full. Carson said 
King often worked from 
outlines. Other treasures in 
the basement included 
handwritten notes, Christmas 
cards and scribbles on 

Was this stuff valuable? Last June, the sale price 
for the goods was $32 million at Sotheby’s. The 
papers are in Atlanta now, however Carson 
copied everything for the new book. 

“Advocate of the Social Gospel” has 150 never- 
seen-before documents, Carson told us. Among 
them was the handwritten copy of MLK’s Nobel 
Peace Prize acceptance speech. In response to 
my question, “What was a ‘spit out the coffee 
moment?” Carson recalled his realization as he 
sifted through the documents that “He [King] 
touched it last.” 

Just the thought Martin Luther King’s messages 
of freedom and justice from the drama 
“Passages” are scheduled to play in Beijing next 
month is shocking too, and exciting. 

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain, Ga., 
and Tiananmen Square. 

Visit to learn 
more about the Martin Luther King Jr. Research 
and Education Institute at Stanford University. 

And visit to learn more 
about the columnist society. 

Black Alumni Network 

February 2007 

Page 3 

People/ Continued from front page 

Hofstra University Journalism Professor E.R. Shipp, ’79, 
analyzed President Bush’s State of the Union address on the Jan. 24 
edition of NPR News & Notes.” 

She was part of a roundtable discussion with John McWhorter of the 
Manhattan Institute and Jeff Carr, host of the radio show “Freestyle.” 
Listen to the segment: 

Shipp also told us that she has entered the blogosphere: 



<n Jan. 8, classmates Betty Winston Baye, ’80, and Wayne Dawkins, ’80, 
jpeared on “News & Notes” to discuss their new book “Black Voices in 
ommentary: The Trotter Group,” an anthology that includes commentaries 
om 23 writers. Listen to the segment: Also visit [PHOTO:] 

teborah Higgins ’82, moved to Little Rock, Ark. 
om Nashville, Tenn. last year. 

Programs on environment and race coverage at Columbia 

The New York Times Institutes program for business, editorial, and environmental/science writers coming 
up March 11-15. Scholarships are available for those who can show the need. This workshop, which is now 
in its third year, is quite brilliant and I urge you to think about attending. The focus this year is on opening 
up the workshop, which is normally for the science and environment reporting worlds, to business and 

editorial page writers, editors and TV producers. I have included a PDF on 
the program and how to apply. 

Also, the Feb. 15 deadline is approaching for entries for the Let's Do It 
Better! Workshop on Journalism, Race and Ethnicity. This year's workshop, 
for editors, news directors, and journalism 

professors, will start with a dinner on May 3, followed by presentations on 
May 4-5. If you are interested in applying as a presenter or for one of the 20 
“gatekeeper” spots in the audience or know someone who would be a good 
candidate, please take a look at for a 
competition entry form or an application to attend the workshop. 


Arlene Morgan, associate dean 

Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, 2950 Broadway, 705 
New York, N.Y. 10027 212-854-5377 or 646-284-5516 [PHOTO:] 

Correction: In last month’s cover story, “Year in review ’06, A turbulent year for journalism 
and politics,” Wil LaVeist joined Johnson Publications before Bryan Monroe became editor. 

Black Alumni Network 

February 2007 

Page 4 


The Harry Chapin Media Awards is accepting 2007 applications. Formerly the World Hunger Media 
Awards, they were created in 1982 to encourage the media to "tell the story of hunger and poverty." 

The awards honor print and electronic media for outstanding coverage of hunger and poverty issues, 
thereby offering distinction and prestige to independent and mainstream journalists alike. 

To apply, visit . Or call 212-629-8850 Ext. 27. 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2007 Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence 
at North Carolina A&T State University Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies. 

To apply visit, www. ifai s. org/vemonJarrett/ 

Capital Public Radio in Sacramento seeks an experienced and dynamic senior producer with solid 
journalistic judgment for its daily talk show. Insight. 

www.capradio.ora/About/HR/Positiondetail.aspx?Positionid=39 This person works alongside the show's full-time 
Host in leading the production of the program. Insight airs on CPR's four NPR News stations (KXJZ 
Sacramento, KUOP Stockton/Modesto, KKTO Tahoe/Reno and KQNC Quincy), which serve a population 
of four million. The senior producer is a strong team player and partners with senior management, and 
news and music staff to ensure the program's continuing high quality. Submit a cover letter, resume, 
and at least three professional references to: Human Resources Capital Public Radio 7055 Folsom Blvd., 
Sacramento, CA 95826. Send e-mail to 

Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media seeks an associate producer for “Speaking of Faith.” To 
apply, go to and click on the Job Openings link . Click on the 
associate producer, “Speaking of Faith” job opening (204) to apply online and submit a resume and cover 
letter. In addition to completing the online application, e-mail a resume and cover letter to . 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded 
in May 1980 and since July the group has published a monthly newsletter. The BA Newsletter’s mission 
is to keep people connected. We publish job changes and moves, news about books and films published 
or produced by alumni, and family milestones. And of course we keep alumni connected to news from 
the Columbia GSJ. Log on to our Web site at or see our link 
on the home page of Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 

Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments, suggestions to Or call 800-268-4338_ 

THANK YOU December subscribers from Los Angeles and Little Rock, Ark. 
PayPal is an option in addition to checks. At ask for “August Press.” 




108 Terrell Road 

P.O. Box 6693 

Newport News, VA 23606 


$25 one year 
$40 two years 


Alumni Return...Reconnect...Rediscover, 3 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ March 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 3 

Memorial Service 

Celebrate the life of J-educator 
Phyllis T. Garland this month 

Join Columbia University Graduate School of 
Journalism Dean Nicholas Lemann as colleagues, 
friends and family of Phyllis T. Garland [1935-2006] 
remember and celebrate her life Monday, March 19 
at 6 p.m. at the GSJ Lecture Hall, 116 th Street and 
Broadway, New York, N.Y. 

RSVP to Barbara Frasciani, : 
or 212-854-0123. “Swing low, sweet chariot,” an 
appreciation by Evelyn C. White, ’85, appeared in 
our December edition. Read it in the archives at [Garland photo] 

Now, can alumni and friends seal the dealP 

Final push to endow a BA Network scholarship in memory of Garland 

As of Feb. 16, $60,220 was pledged to establishing a permanent Black Alumni Network scholarship. 

At least $100,000 is required to endow a scholarship. That means $39,780 is left to be raised. 

The drive, named in honor of the late Phyllis T. Garland, continues through June 30, the end of 
the fiscal year. During a February round of outreach calls, gifts were promptly sent by alumni 
in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Virginia. 

How many more of you will answer the call and meet this special deadline? 

If 159 people give at least $250, we’ll reach the goal! 

We’re especially calling on first-time alumni givers. Do you remember Professor Garland’s 
passion for writing and for arts and culture? Recall her nurturing ways in and out of the classroom? 

Now is the time to show your support. 

This season Sabrina Ford is attending classes as the second Black Alumni Network scholar. 
Let’s make opportunities for future students permanent. Send gifts. Three months remain. 
Call Amanda Wilson at 212-854-5263 or to give. - Wayne Dawkins 

Black Alumni Network 

March 2007 

page 2 

Molly l. and Art B. had wonderful ways with words 

Midwinter was memorable because of political 
gaffes, Iraq war punditry, and the loss of two 
beloved wordsmiths. 

First the gaffe: U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., 

drew fire from critics 
for his odd word 
choices to describe 
rising political star 
Barack Obama. “I 
mean, you got the first 
mainstream African- 
American who is 
articulate and bright 
and clean and a nice- 
looking guy,” said 
Biden according to a 
Wayne Diwkllis/Commentary CNN account. 

The senator’s words minimized the U.S. 
presidential runs of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 
’88, and A1 Sharpton’s 2004 campaign. And 
what about Shirley Chisholm in 1972? 

Biden claimed that his description of U.S. Sen. 
Obama, D-Ill., came out wrong because he was 
using his mother’s unique phrasing. 
Nevertheless, the senator wounded himself. 
Although Biden has a reputation as a motor 
mouth according to some Washington insiders, I 
hope he doesn’t shut up and become one of 
many calculating political regulars who have 
little worthwhile to say when they do open then- 

Five years ago in Dover, Del. Biden dropped by 
to talk to two dozen Trotter Group columnists, 
and he warned that it would be disastrous to 
meddle with Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions 
in Iraq. This was nearly two years before the 
U.S. invasion and many more years after the 
quagmire the United States is stuck in. 

Conditions have gotten so bad that early last 
month, conservative New York Times columnist 
David Brooks on two broadcast shows the same 
Friday, pushed the idea that Iraq must now be 
partitioned into Shiite and Sunni territories 

because military forces [i.e. United States] can’t 
keep the factions together. 

We need more leaders 
speaking candidly and 
forcefully about public 
policy, even if they have 
to make fools of 
themselves occasionally. 

Regarding wordsmithing 
and persuasion, we lost a 
powerful voice in 
syndicated columnist 
Molly Ivins, 62, who died Jan. 31. She was a 
master of the putdown of powerful and pompous 
people. President George W. Bush, who went to 
a crosstown high school, was the “Shrub” and 
“play Texan.” Ivins labeled current Texas Gov. 
Rick Perry as “Good hair.” Years ago she wrote 
that a Texas congressman was so dumb “he 
needed to be watered twice a day.” The last 
putdown inspired her editors at the Dallas 
Times-Herald to erect a billboard that said 
“Molly Ivins can’t say that, can she?” 

Ivins, a 1967 Columbia J-school alumna, didn’t 
torch people for kicks. She was from that fading 
faction of newsies who believe they have a 
responsibility to afflict the comfortable and 
comfort the afflicted. In this age of corporate. 
Wall Street-driven media, that news value that 
advocates for the poor and voiceless is fading. 

With Ivins’ death after a long battle with breast 
cancer, another voice for the voiceless went 

silent. Who now will step 
in and raise their voice 
for justice and equity? 

We lost another 
wordsmith, Art 
Buchwald, 81, in late 
January. Compared to 
Ivins, Buchwald’s humor 
appeared gentle, yet he 
had the satirist’s deft sting. When politicians and 
rich folk behaved badly, ridicule was his foil. 

Continued on page 4 

Black Alumni Network 

March 2006 

Columbia 1-School Alumni Weekend 2007 

Return, reconnect, rediscover April 19-22 in NYC 

Registration deadline is April 1. 

Alumni are encouraged to register online at 

www. i m. Columbia, edu/ alumni/reunions 

Sixteen class reunion agents include Frances Hardin, ’77, 
and Olga Joseph, ’92, 


Lisa Cox, ’92, was elected president of the Black Journalists Association of 
Southern California. She assumed office in January. Cox is based in Los Angeles 
and is a freelance Producer/Writer at KTLA-5 [The CW] the local Tribune station. 
Her father Tony Cox was one of the founders of the chapter, and was a former 
president. [PHOTO:] 

Cheryl McCants, ’99, was selected by Time Warner and Essence as one of a group 
of select African-Americans who inspire others to “Power Forward.” It began airing 
in February in celebration of Black History Month and is to run until the end of 
March. Visit: htt p:// leaders.aspx 

Jobline & Opportunities 

The 12th annual Minority Writers Seminar is May 3-6 at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute in 
Nashville, Tenn. Sponsored by the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation, the seminar 
provides an opportunity for 20 experienced minority journalists to explore the nuts-and-bolts of the 
profession of opinion writing. March 15 is the deadline to apply, said seminar director Doug Lyons, J-’74, 
senior editorial writer of the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. Lyons, al997 graduate of the 
seminar who became an editorial writer in 1999, said participants work closely with experienced opinion 
writers by attending simulated editorial board meetings and writing editorials that are critiqued. 

NCEW Foundation pays for lodging and food at the seminar and reimburses participants up to $200 each 
for their transportation to and from Nashville. Enrollment is limited to 20 and includes those who have 
been writing opinion less than two years. The application can be found at Complete and 
send to Lyons, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale FL 33301-2293. 
Telephone 954/356-4638, Fax 954/356-4624, e-mail: 

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is accepting applications for a newsroom-training program for aspiring 
journalists of color who want to work as news reporters. This trainee will be part of METPRO, Tribune 
Company's training program for minority journalists. The candidate selected will receive six months of 
training at the Sun-Sentinel starting in fall 2007. He/she will learn from experienced journalists about 
writing, interviewing, researching and covering beats while writing articles for the Sun-Sentinel. This will 
be followed by 18 months in an entry-level reporting position. Mentoring and periodic evaluations will 
continue through the program. Applicants should be beginning journalists, preferably with a college degree, 
who are capable of conducting interviews in Spanish or Creole and who have some journalism experience. 
Application deadline is March 31. Send cover letter, resume and 8-10 writing samples to: Kathy 
Pellegrino, Recruitment Editor, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. 

Black Alumni Network 

March 2006 

Wordsmiths/continued from page 2 

Buchwald was the first columnist I read closely in order to appreciate a journalist’s voice, rhythm and 
comedic timing. I was in high school then, and the Watergate scandal was ripening. The New York Times 
accounts I read signaled something was terribly wrong, but truthfully, I did not comprehend what. 

When I read the New York Post [this era was pre-Murdoch] Buchwald made Watergate plain 
in his op-ed column, 700 words at a time. 

In reading Buchwald appreciations, I was awed by his fearlessness and productivity. 

Buchwald ended three-times weekly kidney dialysis despite counsel that he needed it in order to live. 

Given only weeks to live after unplugging, Buchwald lived an additional year and completed 
a memoir that mocked his imminent death. 

I was also inspired by Buchwald’s New York chutzpah: He enrolled at USC on the G.I. bill 
but neglected to tell officials that he did not graduate from high school. Buchwald was forced out, 
yet he returned many years later to accept an honorary degree. 

An appropriate ending from a funny man who always had a way with words. 

[Ivins photo,; 

Buchwald photo,] 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded 
in May 1980 and since July the group has published a monthly newsletter. The BA Newsletter’s mission 
is to keep people connected. We publish job changes and moves, news about books and films published 
or produced by alumni, and family milestones. And of course we keep alumni connected to news from 
the Columbia GSJ. Log on to our Web site at or see our link 
on the home page of Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 

Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments, suggestions to Or call 800-268-4338_ 

THANK YOU February subscribers from Brooklyn, N.Y. and Chicago. 

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Alumni Suburban and sub-Saharan beats, 5 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ April 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 4 

Federation Medal for 1-76 alumna 

A’Lelia Bundles is fund-raising strategist; Madam Walker biographer 


A’Lelia P. Bundles, GSJ ’76, was named a 2007 Columbia University Alumni Federation Medal winner, 
Donna M. Rosenthal announced March 12. Bundles is among 10 medal winners this year and she is among 
a handful of Journalism alumni to receive die university-wide honor this decade. 

Rosenthal, chairman of the Alumni Federation medal committee, said she thanked Bundles for her many 
contributions to the Graduate School of Journalism and to the University. 

“I was shocked,” said Bundles of receiving the news. “I’m delighted and humbled. I 
hope it will encourage others to get more involved. This is a signal that the university 
wants us to get more involved in leadership roles.” 

In September and November, Bundles facilitated the Graduate School of Journalism 
Alumni Association Task Force strategic planning workshops with Gary Olsen, a 
consultant from Villanova University. In March, Alumni Association President Jeff 
Bogart, GSJ ’64, announced that the Executive Committee will disband after the 
Spring Alumni awards in April, and will be replaced with an interim leadership group, 
led by Bundles. 

Bundles has been a force in lund-raising for the school. She is a co-class agent for die 2006-07 Alumni 
Fund: A Campaign for Financial Aid. Also, Bundles is working with alumni and the school to raise 
$100,000 in order to endow the Black Alumni Network scholarship. Two students received aid in 2005 
and this year. Bundles said she was determined to endow the program sometime in 2007. 

Continued on page 3 

Land of the bling, home of the shameless 

Cora Daniels, ’94, last month published “Ghettonation: A Journey 
into the Land of the Bling and Home of the Shameless” [Doubleday 
$23.95, ISBN 0385516436] 

“America’s embrace of a ghetto persona demeans women, devalues 
education, celebrates the worst African-American stereotypes, and 
contributes to the destruction of civil peace,” said the publication 
press release. “Daniel’s investigation exposes the central role of 
corporate America in exploiting the idea of ghettoness as a hip 
cultural idiom, and as a means of making money. She showcases 
black rappers raised in privileged families who have taken on the 
ghetto persona and sold millions of albums, and non-black 
celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, who have adopted ghetto attitudes 
and styles in pursuit of attention and notoriety. Infused with humor 
and entertaining asides — including lists of events and people that 
Daniels nominates for the Ghetto Hall of Fame, and a short section written entirely in ghetto slang.” 

Daniels’ previous book was “Black Power Inc. The New Voice of Success” [2004] 

Black Alumni Network 

April 2007 

Page 2 

See the light roll back a bad law 

The new Daylight Savings time, which went 
into effect several weeks before traditional early 
April clock forwarding, does injustice to the term 
Standard Time. 

What’s standard about four months of normal 
time during a 12-month year? 

And as a member of 
my church observed, 
energy conservation 
will not go down, 
consumption will go 
up. Why? We will 
have more daylight to 
drive our cars and run 
our adult toys. 

Where’s the conveni¬ 
ence for fourth 
Wane B*WH*S/Commentary 

graders who will be wandering in the dark at 8 
a.m. next fall? And if the kids are in Michigan, 
make that fumbling in the dark until 8:30. 

Farmers will probably have their biological 
and ecological rhythms interrupted yet again. 
Also, will flora and fauna have their mating 
rituals disturbed? 

Selfishness, greed, drives 
new Daylight Savings scheme 

I see selfishness and greed in this new Daylight 
Savings scheme. And I speak as a sun lover who 
suffers during winter’s darkness. 

Let’s save energy by conserving our resources. 
Tell your members of Congress to repeal this 
bad new law. 

The more detail that came to light, the more I 
shook my head in disbelief after turning away 
from each morning’s paper. 

Eight U.S. Attorneys General were fired by the 
Justice Department The reasons given by the 
Bush administration were poor job performance. 

But when performance evaluations contradicted 
such claims and instead revealed highly regarded 
public servants, the new story was the attorneys 
general serve at the pleasure of the president, 
which is true. 

Yet while it’s not uncommon for a president to 
clean house at the start of a new administration 
and hire people from his political party, why was 
Bush & Co. firing Justice Department officials 
during the midterm election of a second term? 

That appeared unprecedented, and rotten. 

Speaking of rotten, any of you catch former 
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s interview on NPR 
late last month? The Texas Republican, who 
resigned after he was indicted for money 
laundering, was unrepentant. 

OK, DeLay is allowed his day in court to try and 
convince us he’s innocent. Yet I was stunned by 
his bizarre ambition to build “a permanent 
Republican Party” and use K Street lobbyists as 
infrastructure. DeLay called his Democratic 
adversaries “enemies,” and when the interviewer 
asked, "aren’t there times when the partisans 
must work together?," DeLay said no. 

He doesn’t understand that we have battles over 
partisan ideas, but in the end we’re supposed to 
be Americans working for American interests. 

Continued on the next page 

Black Alumni Network 

April 2007 

Page 3 

Dawkins Commentarvconue 

Permanent political establishments are creepy. 

Didn’t DeLay learn that absolute power eventually corrupts absolutely? 

Finally, I was impressed by the opening last month of the USS Monitor Center at 
the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., my adopted city of nine years. 

The Civil War ironclad and its ironclad adversary the CSS Virginia, AKA the Merrimac, battled 
to a draw in 1862 and revolutionized naval warfare and instantly ended the wooden warship era. 

‘The woman passed through the lines at great risk to herself,’ 
said the Navy secretary of the slave who tipped off the Union 
about the Confederate ironclad under construction. 

I was introduced to two African-American players featured in the Monitor stoiy. 

There was the obedient slave woman who told her master she “wanted to take a walk.” 

Mary Louvestre walked nearly 200 miles, from Southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., and told 
the Secretary of the Navy about the Confederates’ plans to build a devastating warship. 

“The woman passed through the lines at great risk to herself,” said the Navy secretary. 

Her actions made me recall the heroics of another slave turned spy, James Armistead Lafayette. 
Armistead gathered intelligence on the British Army while posing as a harmless slave, 
then rowed away in a boat to drop a dime on Gen. Cornwallis and set up die Revolutionaiy War-ending 
rout by George Washington and French military forces at Yorictown. 

The other Monitor player was a uniformed black man who stared blankly 
while sitting on the deck of the ship, surrounded by white crewmates. 

I first saw that photo in the corridor of my former newspaper, the Daily Press 
of Hampton Roads. The photo was among a handful celebrating the region’s 
maritime and military heritage. 

At the Monitor Center, crewmember Siah Carter was brought to life 
as a re-enactor performed in a video: He was a cook on the ironclad. 

Text on display explained that Carter was not alone. 

In all, there were seven African-Americans in the USS Monitor crew. 

The museum exhibit is rich in detail. I will return soon to absorb more details and show off 
this cultural jewel to friends who are as intrigued as I. 

[Photo credit:] 

Black Alumni Network 

April 2007 

Page 4 

Alumna is a minister; invnlvefl in Katrina rocnvery 

The Rev. Joan R. Harrell, ’91, is director of strategic development for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor 
Conference, Inc. The organization motto is “With Vision...By Faith...Through Action Strengthening 
Churches...Empowering Leaders...Transforming Communities.” 

Harrell sent us a copy of “the breach: Bearing Witness, Report of the Katrina 
National Justice Commission.” The 96-page magazine-format report was co-edited 
by Iva E. Carruthers and Bemice Powell Jackson. 

Among the 21 recommendations in four chapters was No. 2.3: 

“The role of die media in shaping the events and perceptions of the events to the 
public is critical. Candid and critical review of the ways in which the media played 
a positive and negative role is recommended as a step towards building new 
partnerships and understanding in the media. Open, informed accessible and 
diverse perspectives are necessary markings of media in a democracy.” 

Just below the highlighted recommendations were the notorious Associated Press 
photos that showed a white couple wading in waist-deep floodwater after “finding” 
food, and a similar image of a black male after he “looted” a grocery store. 

Harrell said to message her at or call 773.269.1416 to get more resources about the 
continued plight of children, teenagers, women and men along the Gulf Coast region. [Photo:] 

Alalia Bundles, fund-raiser, biographer, and medal winner/continued 

For the last five summers. Bundles has voluntarily coordinated an author’s showcase at National 
Association of Black Journalists conventions that included many GSJ alumni including Jill Nelson, ’80, 
Yolanda Joe, ’85, and Cora Daniels, ’94. Bundles has been a leader of our annual Black Alumni Network 
breakfasts at NABJ where dozens of Columbia alumni connect and are reminded to give back to our 

She is author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling biography, “On Her Own Ground: The Life and 
Times of Madam C.J. Walker,” the first comprehensive account of Bundles’ great-great grandmother’s life. 
“Phyl Garland was my masters project adviser,” explained Bundles. “She asked, ‘Your name is A’Lelia. 

Do you have any connection to the Walker family?’ When I said I was related. Garland said, 

“That’s who you will write about.” 

‘She validated me. [Phyl Garland’s counsel to write about 
Madam C.J. Walker] changed my life.’ - A’Lelia Bundles 

“She validated me. My family could not have said that Madam C.J. Walker was a good topic 
because I would not have listened to them. [The late Phyl Garland’s instruction] changed my life.” 

The Alumni Federation medalists will be honored at the University Commencement Exercises on May 16. 
They will sit on the podium with the Deans of the Schools and the Honorary Doctorates, and they will be 
introduced by President Lee C. Bollinger during the program. The medalists will also be honored 
at the Columbia Alumni Association Dinner at Low Library on Saturday evening, Nov. 3. 

Dawkins, a 1980 J-school graduate, was a 2004 Alumni Federation Medal winner. 

He is also an alumni association executive committee member 

Black Alumni Network 

April 2007 

Page 5 


James McBride’s, ’80, first earful of rap music was in May 1980 at a pre-graduation house party 

at classmate Jill Nelson’s apartment. Classmate and DJ Fred Johnson put “Rapper’s Delight” on 

the turntable, and giddy classmates fell onto the dance floor, as McBride wrote in “Hip-Hop Planet” 

in the April edition of National Geographic. Read all about the mature, global phenomenon here 

and check out the stunning visuals. Also check out McBride’s field notes: 

He pursued hip-hop’s evolution across America, in sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. 

It’s no accident that Kip Branch, ’79, is 2006 NABJ Journalism Educator of the Year. He’s an 
enthusiastic and nurturing assistant professor at Elizabeth City State University in Eastern North Carolina. 
I met about 30 of his students last month during a lecture and Q&A session. At least one of Branch’s 
students established an off-campus community newspaper. The professor, who has been at the state 
university system school for a dozen years, is very pleased. 

Betty Winston Baye, ’80, visited the D.C. area last month to address high school students 
at the Freedom Forum. Baye’s talk about passionate writing has been a 21 st century tradition. 

Columbia J-School Alumni Weekend 2007 

Return, reconnect, rediscover April 19-22 in NYC 

April 1 registration deadline, so hurry! 

Alumni are encouraged to register online at 

Sixteen class reunion agents include Frances Hardin, ’77, 
and Olga Joseph, ’92, 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 _ 

THANKS March new and renewing subscribers from Camp Springs, Md. 

PayPal is an option in addition to checks. Visit and ask for “August Press.” 

Black — ~ 



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P.O. Box 6693 
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$40 two years 

Black Alumni Network 

April 2007 

Page 5A 

Does anyone have copies of The City Sun 
weekly newspaper editions from 1990 through 
1996? If so, Wayne Dawkins would like 
to borrow them or, take them off your hands. 

He needs the newspapers for research for a 
biography of Andrew W. Cooper [1927-2002]. 

Microfiche of the 1984-1989 editions are available 
in selected libraries, however the last six years of 
the newspaper are ‘lost’ according to a librarian 
inside the New York Public Library system. 

If you have material to share, call 800-268-4338, 
or write to the address on page 5. 

Check out “Eyes on the Prize” New Media project 
“Voting Rights, Northern-Style” at 

Thank you 


Alumni 1-77 class reunion, page 5 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ May 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 5 

June 30 is deadline in order to complete 
Phyllis T. Garland endowment drive 

Dorothy Davis, ’77; Marquita Pool-Eckert, ’69; Esther Iverem, ’83; Scotti Williston; David J. Dent, 
’82; Addie Rimrner, ’78; David Peterkin, ’82; Sheryl Hilliard-Tucker, ’82; June Cross and 
Joan Konner, ’61, were among the many people in attendance at the March 19 memorial service for 
Phyllis T. Garland, reported A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, a speaker at the event. 

Two months remain to raise the funds necessary to permanently endow a 
Black Alumni Network scholarship in memory of Garland [1935-2006], 
Are 150 of you out there able to give at least $250 in the next 60 days in 
order to raise the minimum $100,000? Do you know of friends or 
institutions eager to support this cause? Now is the time to act. 

June 30 is the deadline for completion of fund raising. 

On Tuesday, May 15, Sabrina Ford, the second Black Alumni Network 
scholar, will be recognized at Journalism Day, the awards ceremony before 
graduation. Make the scholarship a continuing source of support for future 
journalism students. 

Call Jodi Lipper at 212-854-4150, #3 or ibl2104@columbia.edn 

Why Imus fell 

He crossed a line of decency even shock jocks must recognize 

By Wayne Dawkins 

Shock jock Don Imus built a multi-platformed media colossus on the backs of newsmakers - often women 
and people of color - that he slimed with racist, sexist venom. Yet media elites like Tim Russert and Jeff 
Greenfield, and presidential hopefuls such as Hilary Clinton, John McClain and Rudy Giuliani loved to get 
booked on Imus’ radio show, broadcast on CBS and simulcast on MSNBC. 

With so much juice, how then, geniuses of mass media wondered incredulously, could Imus be taken down 
by 10 adolescent women from Rutgers University? 

The answers: In calling the women “nappy headed ho’s” the morning of April 4, Imus crossed a line of 
decency even shock jocks must recognize. You can say ugly, inappropriate things about the famous and 
powerful; they have big shoulders, but don’t kick little people when they’re down. 

Phyllis T. Garland 

For even the most jaded Americans, an underdog sentiment tugs at their souls. The predominantly black 
Rutgers team battled valiantly against a superior and frequent champion University of Tennessee team on 
April 3. Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network 

Page 2 

Check in on mom and return the love 

HOLLYWOOD, Florida - Iris Dawkins chewed 
heartily on tuna salad on crackers, plus lettuce 
and tomato I led to her mouth. Mom did better 
than many of her co-residents at the assisted 
living home here. 

Mom made incomplete motions with her hands 
in an earnest attempt to feed herself. Advancing 
dementia robbed her of independence. 

As Mother’s Day 
approaches, I reflect 
on the stage in my 
son-parent relationship 
in which I say “the 
long goodbye.” 

That feeding time 
during a March visit 
could have felt 
depressing to this 

Wayne ■WllltlH&'Comrnentary 

oldest Dawkins son, but instead the encounter 
felt like a blessing. Mom smiled contentedly as 
chaos mixed with chilling silence orbited her. 

In the secure room, one senior citizen walked 
from table to table shouting incoherent demands. 
She had to be calmed several times by a 
caregiver. Another woman had to be coaxed out 
of pulling down her disposable undergarments. 

Moreover, about half of the two dozen residents 
in the room stared at their lunches; they would 
have to wait until the handful of caregivers could 
make time to feed them, as I had done with my 

Dementia disproportionately 
affects African-Americans 14 to 
100-percent more than whites. 

I was relieved to see Mom at peace, smiling 
contentedly, while others appeared to battle 
demons from their pasts. 

I’ve stopped fooling myself however. Dementia 
has stolen more of Mom’s memory. Unlike a 
year ago, I can’t say with certainty she 
recognizes me as a son. More likely. I’m a vague 
family member or friend who means no harm. 

It’s funny what mom does remember. She can’t 
maintain a 15-second conversation, yet her mood 
brightened some more when an O’Jays ballad 
piped from an attendant’s radio that was tuned to 
the jammin’ oldies station. 

Mom can share laughs with many of the 
caregivers who come from the Caribbean. They 
chat about distinct tropical foods or customs and 
affirm each other. 

Boy, if Mom were more mentally with it, she 
would so enjoy the Port Royal, Jamaica exhibit I 
visited in Miami. Port Royal was the seaport that 
crumbled into the sea during an earthquake at the 
end of the 1600s. 

Had it been a few years sooner, mom could brief 
me on my reconnect with “Uncle Fitz,” a family 
friend or relative who looked me up after being 
out of touch for 40 years. 

Alas, a few opportunities were missed. But that’s 

Fellow Baby Boomers, keep a close eye on your 
aging parents, favorite aunts and uncles. Check 
on them regularly and look for signs when they 
are struggling to care for themselves. 

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia 
afflict at least five million Americans, according 
to the Alzheimer’s Association , 
and the affliction disproportionately affects 
African-Americans 14 to 100 percent more than 

For everyone, dementia is on the rise because we 
are living longer, and we are getting better at 
diagnosing the affliction. 

Remember how mothers cared for you. 

Return the love. 

fl7/?y 'Zaoj 

Page 3 

Black Alumni Network a tpm w^ f 2006 


Continued from page 1 

Those nappy headed girls - hair braided and twisted for the court battle with the Lady Volunteers - fought 
like warriors, and no one, especially a crusty, old white man, had any business calling them whores without 

Imus’ “nappy headed” reference was supposed to be a clever racial putdown, like a former Arizona Gov. 
Evan Meacham’s habit calling black folk “pickaninnies” while vowing in 1990 to deny a state holiday in 
honor of Martin Luther King Jr. 

In Imus’ case, the fighting words he could not escape was the “ho” reference. 

The shock jock assumed he had permission to say that. Shucks, black hip-hop performers like Snoop Dog, 
Ludacris and others spout the slur effortlessly, like breathing. Well guess what? A coalition of the willing - 
black journalists, civil rights leaders, consumers of all colors and business executives - said enough, and in 
a week, Imus was fired, and the most prominent names in hip hop had to wonder if the infrastructure of 
their 15-year-old empire was serious cracked and in risk of crumbling. 

A shining moment 

For full disclosure, I am a member of the seven-member National Association of Black Journalists Media 
Monitoring committee. After some e-mail exchanges and talks with President Bryan Monroe on April 5, 
NABJ put out a statement Friday morning, April 6 condemning Imus’ sexist, racist 
screed, and asked that he be fired by Monday. 

This was no easy feat. NABJ is a 4,000-member association and the largest bloc of 
members is working journalists who have to show neutrality when they’re on the 
job. Yet Imus’ behavior was about unacceptable media practices, not racial 
advocacy. NABJ was on rock-solid ground to unequivocally shock the radio jock. 
“Has he lost his mind?” association President Bryan Monroe asked in an April 6 
statement. “Those comments were beyond offensive. Imus needs to be fired. 


When an NABJ member asked on our listserv April 13 if contextually there were 
comparable moments when the association roared, I offered these moments: 

• 1991 when President Tom Morgan threatened to pull NABJ out of a newspaper association 
coalition unless action on diversity occurred, not merely talk and white papers; 

• 1992 when President Sidmel-Estes Sumpter challenged 38 CEOs and publishers to retain and 
promote black media managers. Some of those future managers were key players in the Imus case; 

• 1994 when NABJ was swift and unequivocal in its anger over the digital darkening of O.J. 
Simpson’s face on the cover of Time magazine, and 

• 1995, when NABJ members were on the hot seat by radical demonstrators for not taking a position 
on the innocence or guilt of Mumia Abu-Jamal, death-row inmate and former journalist, who 
faced execution [he was spared]. 

In the case of Abu-Jamal case, which made many NABJers squirm, walking through that fire a dozen years 
ago apparently taught many NABJ leaders how to draft an airtight indictment in the Imus case. 

Bryan Monroe 

Continued on next page 


Black Alumni Network 

Page 4 

Imus’ fall/ ( 

Continued from page 3 

Where y’all at? 

Like the new Wynton Marsalis tune “Where Y’all At?” that challenges Baby Boomers to speak up, 

NABJ members wondered out loud on the association’s Internet bulletin board, “where is NOW?” 

In 24 hours, leaders of women’s groups chimed in. 

UNITY partners like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists joined the battle. 

Embattled Imus began apologizing on his radio show beginning at dawn on Good Friday, and he traveled 
to the studio of the Rev. A1 Sharpton’s radio show Monday. Sharpton was not appeased by Imus’ begging. 
The minister demanded the radio host’s resignation. 

Wounded, Imus said he’s not a wild-eyed bigot; he’s a good person who said a bad thing. Media pundit 
apologists missed this point: Many blacks know that smiling smooth talkers, loaded with smug 
institutionalized racist ideas and platforms, are more dangerous than inarticulate louts with little power. 

Media pundit apologists missed this point: Smiling smooth talkers, 
loaded with smug institutionalized racist ideas and platforms, are dangerous 

Seven years ago, reported NPR and other sources, guest Clarence Page of Chicago Tribune asked Imus 
to take a non-binding oath that he stop making simian references to blacks on his shows, and stop referring 
to innocent black men as malt-liquor swilling criminals. Page was not invited back on Imus’ show. 

The calls for Imus’ head would not abate. On April 10, the day after the shock jock’s apology tour to 
Harlem. Gwen Ifill, host of “Washington Week in Review” on PBS, wrote a New York Times op-ed piece 
to clear the record. When critics like Philip Nobile recited Imus’ rap sheet of racist, sexist putdowns, 

Imus denied a charge that in 1998 he said, “Isn’t The Times wonderful. It lets the cleaning lady 
cover the White House,” reported Lars-Erik Nelson in the New York Daily News back then. 

“I haven’t talked about this much,” wrote Ifill. “I’m a big girl. I have a platform. I have a voice. 

I’ve been working in journalism long enough that there is little danger that a radio DJ’s juvenile slap 
will define or scar me. 

“Yesterday, he began telling people he never actually called me a cleaning lady. Whatever. 

This is not about me. It is about the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.” 

Still, the apologizers as late as April 10 were still insisting that Imus could be redeemed. As Tim Russert 
noted on Meet the Press April 15, Imus was inducted in the broadcast Hall of Fame in the mid-‘90s and 
newsweeklies trumpeted “The importance of being Imus” in 1999. The shock jock was an icon so how 
could he fall? Ifill, and Eugene Robinson, guests Russert’s show, explain why Imus went down. 

www. msnbc.msn, com/id/3032608/ 

Advertisers withdraw 

On April 11, Staples the office supply chain, was the first advertiser to pull the plug on Imus. 

Soon, other advertisers withdrew like a draining sink. 

MSNBC, one of Imus’ networks, announced that same day that it now longer broadcast his show. 

“This decision,” said the statement, “comes as the result of an ongoing review process, which initially 
included the announcement of a suspension [by CBS], It also takes into account many conversations 
with our own employees.” 

Continued on back page, 6 

Black Alumni Network Be fflg ltib er-2B88 Page 5 

l-school Class of 77 reunion assembles 
award winners and new media innovators 

By Fran Hardin 

NEW YORK - The 30 th Reunion of the Class of 1977 kicked off on Friday night April 20 with one of the 
Alumni Awards going to classmate, Andrew “Sandy” Meldrum for his outstanding reporting on Zimbabwe. 

Meldrum, who came from Johannesburg, South Africa for reunion weekend, had previously lived some 22 years in 
Harare. However when he ran afoul of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe because of his reporting on the regime’s 
human rights abuse, Meldrum was tried and acquitted but then forcibly expelled from the country. 

Meldrum joins other members of the Class of 1977 as Alumni Award winners including Samuel Rachlin, 

Rita Henley Jensen, Lydia Chavez and Fred Kempe. Our class also includes Pulitzer Prize winners Victor Merino 
and Bob Magnuson [part of a Los Angeles Times team who won for their reporting on the Lomo Prieto earthquake] 
and Jeff Smith, who shared the 2006 prize for Investigative Reporting on then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay 
and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. 

Following the awards ceremony, some 20 members of the class gathered for drinks at the elegant Bistro Ten 18 on 
Amsterdam Avenue. Our first choice would have been The West End Caf6, but the seedy but beloved old J-school 
joint is now a white tablecloth Cuban restaurant. 

On Saturday, in addition to the many interesting seminars organized by Columbia J-School, the Class of’77 had its 
own seminar entitled “Is Life Just Another Assignment and Am I Still Looking for the Lead? Part Deux.” 

Part Un took place five years ago at our 25 th reunion. Much of the discussion revolved around the fact that this is a 
pivotal time for many members of our class. 

While many are still journalists - reporters, columnists and editors - others are in closely allied fields - using their 
journalistic skills to write books or teach. 

Joan Gartlan noted that once when she’d been asked why she had left journalism [she is now with 
Porter and Novelli, a PR firm] she responded, “I feel that journalism left me.” Gartlan, who had won an Emmy 
for her reporting in Washington that led to the resignation of the chief of police, said that local TV news 
had changed so much for the worse that she could no longer to be a part of it. 

Mallory Millender, retired from Payne College but still teaching journalism there [neat trick classmate] had also 
edited his own weekly newspaper. The Augusta News-Review. Millender reminded us that even a small newspaper 
could have an outsize impact. A few years ago, he covered the story of a black man found hanging from a tree in a 
village near Augusta. The police reported the event as a suicide. But the evidence at the scene didn’t seem right to 
Millender and his investigation found that in fact the man had been murdered. Millender’s diligence led to national 

After the “what are you doing now,” “how is your husband/wife and the kids?” most conversations 
turned to the new world of journalism [read “blogisphere” here] that some such as our classmates Mario 
Tedeschini-Lalli [blog commentator] and Kevin McKenna [Tech editor at the New York Times] have embraced. 

Yet many of us are feeling a bit leery about the new world of journalism and are worried 
about being considered [horrors] old fogies. 

Hardin is a 1977 Columbia University journalism graduate. 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338_ 

tooj zocy 

Page 6 

Black Alumni Network 

IlMIS fall/Continued from page 4 

Employees including Paula Madison, a top manager, and usually jovial A1 Roker, who sounded like a ‘60s militant. 

So what about CBS employees and bosses? On April 13, Imus was dismissed by CBS. He broke the cardinal rule, 
thou shalt not demean paying customers, and aren’t black folk the most brand-loyal Americans of all? 

It’s poetic justice that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch correspondent Ron Thomas’ analysis about the hurricane that formed 
and hit so fast was wrapped around a Verizon advertisement in my local newspaper. Verizon is a brand that 
wholesomely targets black consumers, and one of its most recognized executives was Bruce Gordon, an African- 
American, who happens to be a member of the CBS board. Harris’ reporting beat the pants off dozens of Rolodex- 
challenged reports stating bewilderment about the Imus storm. Rolodex challenged because so many stories 
prominently quoted Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Why? Conspiratorial types might say that Sharpton and Jackson 
could be attacked as hypocrites, reference the 1984 “Hymietown” rant by Jackson, and Sharpton losing a defamation 
lawsuit for slandering a prosecutor during the Tawana Brawley sexual assault case. 

Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Betty Winston Baye wondered, if the Imus story is about demeaning black 
women, when didn’t journalists seek out the dozens of black women leaders who run corporations, universities 
and small businesses? 

Hip-Hoppers lose the beat? 

Imus is gone, but the story is not over. This question justifiably was repeatedly asked: If hip hop stars sling the words 
“ho” and “bitch” routinely, shouldn’t they be called to account? Actually they had been confronted for years inside 
black America, but now the criticism was presented on a bigger stage and the show got bizarre. 

In an attempt to “clarify,” Snoop Dog told MTV that rappers “Are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who 
have made it to the next level in education and sports. We’re talking about the ho’s that’s in the hood that ain’t don’t 
[expletive], that’s trying to get a [slur for blacks] for his money.” Oh. Thanks Snoop for clearing that up. 

And Russell Simmons’ CEO of Def Jam Records said “People who are angry, uneducated and come from tremendous 
struggle, they have poetic license and they say things that offend you.” Simmons was criticizing Presidential hopeful 
Barack Obama, who was challenged by constituents in black America to say something about the hip hop pathology. 

Simmons is a mealy mouth. While he talks about the angry and poor he’s the darling of the Vanity Fair crowd. Check 
out his photo spreads in the upscale mag? Hey, no hatin’ here. In America you have a right to rub shoulders with the 
rich and make money. But as Sharpton said in February at Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union, angry, uneducated 
black folk during the ‘50s and ‘60s were not singing about “Ho’s in the back of the bus.” 

It’s OK to be oppressed yet have a sense of decency, and dignify. 

Don Imus was jettisoned from CBS and MSNBC but he will probably reappear soon at another outlet Imus was the 
lightning rod for 1 !4 weeks of saturation coverage, yet he’s not the real issue. The real deal is are we ready destroy 
misogynist rap lyrics that have made our community ill for too long, and are we also ready to bring more civility to the 
public square? And yes, those are free-speech issues too. 

THANK YOU April subscribers from Virginia Beach, Va. and St. Albans, N.Y. 

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Alumni Medal of excellence for ’91 alumna, Page 7 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ June 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 6 

Black Music Month 

While witnessing celebration and struggle, 

J-alumni recall 40 years of memorable songs 

This month is the 29 th anniversary of Black Music Month, a celebration launched by Kenny Gamble of 
Philadelphia International Records. Black music is in a state of celebration and struggle. Wynton Marsalis’ 
“From the Plantation to the Penitentiary,” a seven-song CD 
deconstructing hip-hop mendacity and soul and funk generation 
apathy, arrived just in time for the post-Imus debate about what 
to do about rampant rap and hip hop misogyny, and “public 
niggering [that’s] got to go” as Jennifer Sanon scolds in 
the ballad “Love and Broken Hearts.” 

Apparently, the marketplace was stating its prerogatives. After a 
steady three-decade climb, rap music sales declined 21 percent 
between 2005 and 2006, reported Nekesa Mumbi Moody of the 
Associat^dPress in April, and for the first time in a dozen years, no rap album was among the top 10 
sellers of the year. Maybe consumers are rejecting a genre of music, or they’re simply evolving because 
popular music does not remain stuck in the same gear. 

But for the moment, let’s reminisce. In five-year intervals, journalism alumni hop into 

the wayback machine for a review of memorable songs that formed their personal soundtracks 

during every one of the last four decades, starting in 1967. 

1967: Forty years ago 

In 1967,1 was slim as a No. 2 pencil. I had my own crib, a job and money to buy music. 

What was not to love about my life? 

Listening to jazz made me feel more grown up, but a young woman would 
have had to have been a serious recluse not to be down with Aretha 
Franklin’s No. 1 hits that year, “Never Love a Man,” and “Respect,” an 
Otis Redding tune that I heard him sing at a segregated beach in Maryland. 

“Never Loved a Man” is never to be lip synched unless a sister is alone 
or with her posse. The most humble man can get the big head 
when Aretha, in her deepest register, wails “the way I love you.” 

But “Respect”? Now that’s a song to sing to your man because 
it has a message that bears repeating. 

I can’t physically go back 40 years, but whenever I hear Aretha’s early hits. I’m young again. 

I’m free. - Betty Winston Baye, ’80 

Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 2 

Watchdog journalism desenes praise and needs investment 

NEW YORK - Dani McClain, J-’06, the 
inaugural Black Alumni Network scholarship 
winner, last month expressed excitement after 
taking part in a investigative project at the 
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: 

WayM DawkiRS/Commentary 

The school district I cover, which is located in a 
city about 30 minutes south of Milwaukee, hired 
a consulting firm to manage its business and 
finance departments. A district employee gave 
me some internal documents that shed light on 
the relationship between the district and the firm, 
and all hell has broken loose in the wake of a 
story I wrote for last Tuesday's paper. This is 
exciting for me because it’s the first investigative 
piece I've done, and because it’s crazy to see the 
impact this type of investigation can have. It’s 
been a major topic on talk radio in the past 
week, and the school board is hiring an auditor 
to look into the district’s relationship with the 

McClain’s e-mail note arrived at an opportune 
time: I was here for Journalism Day at Columbia 
University Graduate School of Journalism, the 
moment scholarship winners and sponsors were 
recognized, and the 
new graduates 
received awards for 
outstanding writing, 
video and New Media 
projects. As the 
representative for the 
newly named Phyllis 
T. Garland Black 
Alumni Network scholarship, I met this year’s 
recipient, Sabrina Ford of California [photo]. 
Ford said she will spend her summer in New 
York City proofreading and pursuing magazine 
writing assignments. Ford said the $5,000 award 
made a difference in studying for the M.S. 
degree, which was costlier than the new M.A. 
degree programs. Ford and I listened to Dana 
Priest, the Journalism Day Pringle lecturer. In 
introducing the Washington Post reporter, Dean 
Nicholas Lemann asked, ‘How do you do it?’ He 
marveled at Priest’s investigative output of 
recent years: She wrote the 2007 Pulitzer Prize 
stories on the CIA secret prisons overseas, and 
this year broke the stories on the deplorable 

conditions for combat troops at Walter Reed 
military hospital. 

Before those blockbusters. Priest was author of 
the 2003 book “The Mission: Waging War and 
Keeping Peace with America’s Military,” which 
was based on her reporting. Priest’s 
accomplishments affirmed why McClain was 
excited about the grueling, combative, and 
ultimately rewarding world of investigative 
reporting. Priest said while she’d never say it out 
loud while working on a project, investigative 
reporting is an opportunity to right wrongs. 

These projects are expensive, and reporters run 
the risk of having their patriotism challenged, as 
Priest’s was when she exposed the secret 
overseas prisons. But after initial official and 
public condemnation, readers usually expressed 
gratitude for truth telling. Investigative reporting 
needs support. This was so evident during the 
struggle by the family owners of Dow Jones Co. 
to rebuff a takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch of 
News Corp. Dow Jones [publisher of The Wall 
Street Journal] and the New York Times and 
Washington Post companies are among the 
media elites that share this common virtue: The 
family owners still view journalism as a public 
trust. In running profitable businesses, the 
families are willing to accept a lower margin of 
profit than other publicly traded media 
companies in order to invest in news gathering. 
There are shareholders who want these three 
companies to eliminate two-tiered stock systems 
that allow the family to have the last word in 
choosing the boards of directors. 

Other publicly traded media companies don’t 
work that way, and their shareholders demand at 
least 20 percent profit regardless of news 
gathering needs. Remember Knight Ridder? 
Poof! That newspaper company vanished last 
year after a powerful stockholder, unhappy with 
the stagnant stock price, staged a revolt. Tribune, 
another leading media company with sluggish 
stock performance, is about to be sold to a real 
estate tycoon. Some players in the media 
industry are experiencing rough rides, yet this is 
no time to quit. Support and praise the 
companies that believe in watchdog journalism. 
Dani McClain, and now Sabrina Ford, are eager 
to play. 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 3 

1972 : Thirty five years ago 

If you were in your early 20’s in the early 1970s, you could not help but be an idealist and optimistic about 
the ability of our generation to make the world - our neighborhood, our city, our state, our country, the 
world - a better place. My generation was drunk with enthusiasm over the elimination of legally enforced 
racial apartheid in the South in the 1960s. We felt the rest of the work would be a piece of cake. Everyone 
just needed to get with the program. 

The work to do and the attitude needed to achieve it was what “Love Train” by the O’Jays was all about. 
Included on a 1972 O’Jays album, and released as a single in January, 1973, “Love Train” gave you a few 
minutes inspiration, a chance to step out of what was and imagine what could be if we worked at it. Some 
people have become disillusioned and have tossed in the towel. That’s easy to understand. It’s tough being 
an eternal optimist in the face of such resistance. Some have become the “Back Stabbers” the O’Jays 
warned of in the album title song. Short gain, long-loss strategy. For me, more than 30 years later, I’ll take 
the “Love Train” route any day. - Reginald Stuart, 71 

1977 : Thirty years ago 

That year, I graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn. Several class buddies easily converted me 
into a jazz junkie. Jazz-rockers Weather Report and Return to Forever sent me digging deeper to listen and 
learn about Miles, Monk and Mingus. Still, I was a 21-year-old student who loved da funk. 

Two songs define that time. First, the Ohio Players’ “Who’d She Coo?” It 
was recorded the previous year, but got lots of airplay in ’77. “Who’d She 
Coo?” wasn’t as brassy as earlier hits by the Dayton-based funk band. This 
tune had giddy up guitar choruses by Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, 
complemented by rhythmic handclaps and heavy percussion. I recall 
hearing the song while riding home on a B-38 bus on a warm spring day as 
I was sneaking glances at a honey complexioned co-ed with an Angela 
Davis-sized Afro. Who’d she coo? 

My second tune was the Emotions’ “Best of My Love.” The girl group did 
collaborations with Earth, Wind and Fire. Like many ‘70s adolescents, I 
was a huge E, W & F fan. What was not to like? I double-dare you to drive 
that song out of your head. - Wayne Dawkins, ’80 

Ah, 1977. What a year for Rhythm and Blues. It opened with Rose Royce’s ebullient “Car Wash” topping 
the charts. It closed with that helluva band Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Serpentine Fire” ruling for seven 
straight weeks. But my favorite through what was a transitional year for me was Thelma Houston’s “Don’t 
Leave Me This Way.” It ranked as No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart for just one week, that of Feb. 19. But, I 
consider it one of the most memorable recordings of the Disco Era. Yes, I loved disco. 

As the year began, I was entering my second semester of J-school, heading toward earning my masters 
degree and my first daily newspaper job. I was in New York, a city rife with weekend discos on the vacant 
floors of warehouses. The evening did not begin until midnight. Often, it did not end until the sun came up. 

The beat to Houston’s song was strong; the music made you swirl. She started by pleading softly and rose 
to an angry shout. But it was not pathetic. I loved disco songs that started out soft and worked up to frenzy. 

Saturday nights ended picking up the Sunday New York Times from a street vendor in the wee hours of the 
morning and taking a cab home. Sleep came easily. As a student, sheltered from the more cruel aspects of 
life in the Big City, it was a great place to be. - Angela D. Chatman, 77 

Continued on page 4 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 4 

1982 : Quarter century ago 

As the 1980s dawned, “Ebony and Ivory” were not working together in perfect harmony, except perhaps 
on the disco floor. The promise of the preceding decade and a half had collided against the Reagan era's 
re-introduction of intolerance as a topic for polite conversation. Black 
people who got with the upwardly mobile program, in our khaki slacks 
and skirts, blue oxford shirts and foulard ties, stood a fightin g chance 
of acceptance. The rest, ringingly denounced from the seats of power as 
welfare cheats, lawbreakers and general ingrates for all this country had 
done for them, required an extra dose of feel-good fantasy to buy into 
any version of the American dream. 

The Paul McCartney-Stevie Wonder collaboration plugged enough people 
into that fantasy to become a hit. A treacly appeal for tolerance from two 
of the most universally accepted artists of the age probably didn't change 
any minds. But the piano keyboard analogy likely didn't cause too much 

For three innocuous minutes it suggested that we might, after all, be able to just get along - 10 years before 
Rodney King revisited how difficult that was to do. - Cheryl Devall ’82 

offense, either. 

1987 : Twenty years ago 

By June 1987, New York was my home city. A freshly minted grad of Columbia J-School, balancing work, 
love mid play was tops on the survival list. It was exciting, gritty and sometimes dangerous. 

Thank goodness at the year’s start, Janet Jackson’s video remix of “Control,” produced by Jimmy Jam and 
Terry Lewis, schooled me on the take-charge attitude necessary. And, it was the warrior beats of Kool Moe 
Dee’s “Wild, Wild, West” [How Ya Like Me Now?] that armed me 
against any “hood” distracters. While “Kool” may have been spitting 
back at long time rival L.L. Cool J, my NYC face was in swing. Mid 
year, “L.L.” reached lung-deep for a “Kool” comeback with the album 
“Bigger and Deffer.” 

Two albums signaled the underground stirring of West Coast gansta rap. 
The infamous NWA debuted “NWA and the Posse” featuring Easy-E 
solo “Boyz -n-the-Hood.” The song later titled John Singletary’s coming 
of age film starring NWA’s Ice Cube. Ice-T, who became the ultimate 
large- and small-screen “New Jack” cop, peaked on the Billboard 200 at 
No. 26 with his debut album “Rhyme Pays.” 

On the real side, Larry Davis, charged with shooting six NYPD police officers and five drug dealers 
awaited trial at Rikers Island. The Bronx legend was acquitted. 

Wall Street had its “New Jack” too. Two months before the Black Monday crash on Oct. 19, Beatrice 
International Foods became the largest black-owned company in the country. Reginald Lewis (1942-1993) 
orchestrated the leveraged buyout for just under $1 billion. 

Bets are on that Lewis strutted along with Michael Jackson to the August hit that reached the No. 1 
Billboard singles spot on Oct. 24 — “Bad.” - Kissette Bundy, '87 

Continued on page 5 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 5 

1992 : Fifteen years ago 

In 1992, Gerald Levert [1966-2006] established himself as one of the great next-generation R&B crooners. 

He knew how to beg for his woman’s love. That year Gerald collaborated with 
his Dad, Eddie Levert of the O’Jays, and they produced “Baby Hold on to 
Me.” That one-punch of a song was a love TKO, to reference another Philly 
sound balladeer. The Leverts’ “Baby Hold on to Me” was the No. 1 Billboard 
R&B single on Feb. 29. That year I enjoyed making time to watch videos on 
BET. I had two guilty pleasures: Watching the leggy girl group, En Vogue, 
perform “My Lovin’ [You’re Never Gonna Get it], and watching Iman plant a 
big wet one on Michael Jackson in his video “Remember the Time.” Sigh. 
Remember the time when Jacko was the undisputed “King of Pop,” and not 
a punch line to a crass joke? - Wayne Dawkins, ’80 

1997 : A decade ago 

Sadly, I initially associate 1997 with bullet-riddled, and yes, charismatic hip hop stars rather than favorite 
songs. Tupac Shakur was gunned down in September 1996. Six months later in 
March, the Notorious B.I.G. was slain. His song “Hypnotize” was the No. 1 R&B 
single on the Billboard charts for three consecutive weeks in April and May. That 
year I lived in Northwest Indiana, about an hour from Chicago. My then 8-year- 
old daughter could not wait to see the “Space Jam” cartoon movie with Michael 
Jordan balling with Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Taz, Elmer and the rest of the Looney 
Times crew. R. Kelly sang the inspirational “I Believe I Can Fly” with the kind 
of conviction that makes any of us believe with can truly touch the sky. R. Kelly’s 
theme song topped the Billboard charts the first three weeks of 1997. Another 
pleasure that year was the “Soul Food” soundtrack, largely written by Kenneth 
“Babyface” Edmonds. - Wayne Dawkins, ’80 

2002 : Five years ago 

When Nelly’s “Getting Hot in Here” reached No. 1 on the R&B charts in July of2002, my youngest child, 
Alexis, was only 4 months old. If anything shows how kids change your life, it was that song. 

My oldest daughter, Ariana, was almost age 3 at the time and learning 
to do things like take off her own clothes for a bath. Judy, my wife, 
would sing the song as instructions. Eventually, as my kids grew, they 
would join in. Now, when it’s bath time in our house, you can hear my 
wife in the bathroom leading the kids, now 5 and 7, in a chorus of, 

“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.” 

Bathwater does make the bathroom hot; my daughters are convinced 
that the song is about taking a bath. 

Sigh. Most of the time... it is. - Dan Holly, ’85 

PHOTO CREDITS: Wynton Marsalis []; Aretha Franklin []; 
Ohio Players []; Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder []; 

LL Cool J []; En Vogue []; Michael Jordan 
and Space Jam []; Nelly [] 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 6 

J-School’s Black Alumni Network Names 
Scholarship to Honor Phyllis T. Garland 

NEW YORK - Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced May 
23 that it has renamed its Black Alumni Network Scholarship Fund in honor of Professor 
Emeritus Phyllis [“Phyl”] Garland, who died in November 2006 at age 71. The goal is to 
raise $100,000 to permanently endow the scholarship. 

Wayne Dawkins, J’80, who was one of Garland’s students, is the founding editor of the 
Black Alumni Network [1980- ], and an assistant professor at the Hampton University 
Scripps Howard School of Journalism. In remembering Garland, he said, “Phyl Garland 
nurtured and educated us with all her heart and soul. Let us honor her by endowing this 
scholarship. This year.” 

A’Lelia Bundles, J’76, former deputy bureau chief, ABC News, Washington, DC, and 
author of “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C J Walker,” is helping 
to spearhead the fund raising effort. “So many of us who are Phyl’s former students can 
honestly say that she changed our lives.” said Bundles. “The least we can do is honor her 
legacy by contributing to this important effort.” 

Garland, who was the first tenured black female faculty 
member at the journalism school, taught there for more than 
three decades. In addition to her Cultural Affairs Reporting 
and Writing class. Garland was a Master’s Project adviser, 
and served as the founder and administrator of the National 
Arts Journalism Program at Columbia. 

When she retired from the school in 2004, she received a 
scroll which described her as someone who had “affection, 
respect and advocacy for students.. .a deep love of music 
and its interplay with culture.. .and a fierce appreciation 
of African-American artists and the essential role of the arts in American culture.” 

Before coming to Columbia, Garland was one of the first female reporters for 
The Pittsburgh Courier; the New York editor of Ebony; a contributing editor 
for Stereo Review; and the author of “The Sound of Soul” [1969]. 

To date, $60,000 has been raised towards the $100,000 goal. To support this effort, 
send contributions to Sharon Meiri Fox, Columbia University Graduate School of 
Journalism, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Call Fox at 212-854-5263. 

Note that the gift is for the BAN/Phyllis Garland Scholarship Fund. 

Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 7 


At the 253 rd Columbia University commencement May 16, Suzanne Malveaux, ’91, received 
the Medal of Excellence. 

The Columbia University Record reported: “An Emmy award-winning journalist, 
Malveaux is the White House correspondent for CNN. She has covered and 
interviewed President George W. Bush, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and 
Bill Clinton, and First Lady Laura Bush. [Malveaux] was named one of America’s 
Most Powerful Players Under 40 by Black Enterprise magazine, one of Ebony’s 
Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications, and the National Black 
MBA 2004 Communicator of the Year.” [Photo:] 

A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, was among 10 Columbia University Alumni medalists 
recognized on commencement day. From The Record: “Former director of talent 
development for ABC News in Washington and New York, received an Emmy 
and a du Point Gold Baton during her 30-year career as a producer and executive with ABC and NBC 
News. She recently cochaired and facilitated the Graduate School School of Journalism Alumni 
Association Task Force strategic planning meetings to help the association examine its mission and 
engender broader representation of its alumni. She currently chairs a GSJ transition group convened to 
implement the strategic plan.” 

Fred Johnson, ’80, traveled from Los Angeles to Virginia to participate in 70* anniversary ceremony 
of Armstead Tasker “A.T.” Johnson High School, named in 1937 for his great-grandfather. The May 5 
ceremony was in Westmoreland County, also known as the Northern Neck region of coastal Virginia. 

A.T. Johnson began teaching in the 1890s and the school was established to offer secondary 
school education for African-Americans. A.T. Johnson School served students until 1998. 

In 2000, the building was reopened as the A.T. Johnson museum. 

In April, Esther Iverem, ’83, published “We Gotta Have It: Twenty Years of Seeing Black 
at the Movies, 1986-2006,” [Thunder’s Mouth Press, $17.95], 

This essential reference book of 33 chapters and approximately 500 movie 
reviews begins with Spike Lee’s August 1986 hit, and closes with “Dreamgirls,” 
released on Christmas Day, 2006. 

Iverem’s introduction, then opening chapter “Seeing Black,” a pointed analysis of 
the black consumer market [25 percent of the moving going public that spends $2 
billion annually, before movie rentals, pay-per-view and cable/satellite is factored 
in], and critique of the movie industry for better or worse, is worth the price of 
the book, before the 580 pages of reviews and lists that follow. 

I’ll bet that many of you will want to have “We Gotta Have It.” 

Malcolm Venable, ’01, music critic with The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, was an engaging presenter 
at the April 19 Hampton University Journalism and Communications symposium, which focused on the 
blending - or blurring - of entertainment and news coverage.... Wayne Dawkins, ’80, participated in the 
[Andrew W.] Cooper vs. Power 40* ceremony May 1 to recognize his mentor’s voting rights lawsuit 
that resulted in the election of Shirley Chisholm to Congress. 

Visit “Talkback!” May 2 to hear the interview with Hugh Hamilton. 






Black Alumni Network 

June 2007 

Page 8 


The Chicago Reporter, a bimonthly investigative news magazine, seeks a talented and aggressive 
bilingual journalist for a full-time reporting position. Applicants should have three years reporting 
experience, strong Spanish language skills, knowledge of computer-assisted reporting techniques and 
an interest in racial and economic issues. Web skills are a plus. Competitive non-profit salary, excellent 
benefits. Send resume and five clips by June 15, to Alden K. Loury, Senior Editor, 332 S. Michigan Ave. 
Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60604; : . 

News 12, Westchester, N.Y. seeks free-lance photographers. If you live is the Metro New York area, 
have at least two years experience, and can handle TIGHT deadlines, send a tape to: Carol Corrado, 
executive producer, News 12 Westchester, Yonkers, NY 10701. 

Local news reporters needed: The Charlotte Observer is looking for reporters who have spent the past year 
or two reporting in a small- to medium-sized city. We expect to hire at least a couple of local news 
reporters in coming weeks. The Observer believes in coaching reporters and building skills. If you can 
demonstrate that you've started down the path to being a great reporter, we can help you grow. The jobs we 
will fill are in our regional offices, where the reporters write for both a zoned section and for the main run 
of the Observer. Charlotte is a healthy market, even for a newspaper. To apply, contact Hope Paasch, 
the Observer's regional editor, or 704.358.5143. 

July 1 is the pre-registration deadline for NABJ-Las Vegas, Aug. 8-12 


Also, the preliminary convention schedule is available. 

Visit www.nabi .org/conventions/2007/ schedule/index.html 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 __ 

THANKS May new and renewing subscribers from Louisville, Ky. and Washington, D.C. 
PayPal is an option in addition to checks. Visit and ask for “August Press.” 




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Alumni 27 th anniversary edition 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ July 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 7 

1-84 alumna Janet McDonald 
11953-20071, author of ‘Project Girl’ 

Janet McDonald, ’84, author of the critically acclaimed 1999 memoir “Project Girl,” died from colon 
cancer April 11 in France. In addition to writing, McDonald was an international lawyer. 

She lived in Paris since 1995. She was among seven siblings who grew up in 
public housing in Brooklyn, N.Y., wrote Retha Powers in an appreciation 
published in the May/June edition of Black Issues Book Review McDonald went on to earn degrees from Vassar College, 
Columbia University J-school and New York University School of Law. 

After writing “Project Girl,” published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, McDonald 
authored six young adult novels that included “Spellbound” [2001], recognized as 
one of the best books for young adults by the American Library Association. 
Before her death. Powers reported, McDonald finished “Off Color,” a novel to be 
published in November by Foster/Farrar. PHOTO: 

“My books,” McDonald explained in an essay, “house teen mothers, high-school dropouts, shoplifting 
homeboys, preppy drug dealers, and girl arsonists. A few characters are gay, others are straight. Most strive 
to achieve a positive goal; seek a little more than their idle, pointless status quo. The cast also includes 
paralegals, college kids, teenage entrepreneurs, computer-sawy project girls, and budding artists.” 

McDonald was bom in 1953, according to the Black Issues Book Review account. The Web site said a memorial scholarship fund was being established at Vassar College. 

Go-editor of law Journal article 

Mich.-based attorney focused on victims of Hurricane Katrina 

Jerome L. Reide, ’82, and an attorney, served as co-editor for the Fall 2006 issue 
HQ! of Human Rights magazine that covered human rights amid disasters. With 
Cynthia Diane Stephens, a judge, he co-authored “Katrina ‘Survivors’ versus 
‘Internally Displaced Persons’ More Than Mere Semantics.” Read the piece online 

at Human Rights is a quarterly 
magazine. PHOTO: 

Reide serves as vice chairman the American Bar Association Committee on Civil 
Rights and Equal Opportunity, part of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and 
Responsibilities, [IRR]. Reide is based in Lansing, Mich. He told us that his 
practice includes civil rights and probate matters. Reide said that in April he left his position as director 
of Justice Initiatives at the State Bar of Michigan to complete a book on diversity in Michigan. 

Black Alumni Network July 2007 Page 2 

Cause to pause for quiet celebration 
then resume the march of service 

A classmate’s selflessness had me reflecting on 
the Black Alu mn i Network on its 27* birthday 
this month. The classmate who wishes to remain 
anonymous last month sent a contribution in 
excess of the one- or two-year subscription rate. I 
extended the reader’s subscription for five years 
and sent a thank-you note. 

The alum residing in the Southeast United States 
replied this way: “No problem, Wayne. I’m sorry 
it took so long. Although I know you have 
always extended my subscription to the date 
represented by the funds I’ve sent, I really intend 
that the extra amount be used to further the cause 
of the monthly. 

“I was there when the idea was founded and I 
believe in it 150 percent. Do as you will, but 
know that if needed, those funds are there to 

The “I believe in 
[BAN] 150 percent” 
is a humbling 
reminder that we have 
built a 

network of hundreds 
of professionals. We 
should use this 
channel to grow more 
participation and do 
more good works. 

Wayne Dawkins/Commentary 

What are the benefits of the monthly BA 

Journalists and other media professionals often 
are transient creatures. They move and 
sometimes fall off people’s radar. Our newsletter 
keeps us informed and keeps our graduate school 
of journalism informed. This year Columbia 
University recognized the outstanding work of 
A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, and Suzanne Malveaux, 
’91. Last fall, some of us made a case to the J- 
School alumni association to have Sheryl H. 

continue the work.” 

Tucker, ’82, moderate a media forum on women 
in media. That forum was a rousing success. 

It is no accident that our monthly newsletter 
reminds decision makers to recognize talented 
individuals and invite others to lead signature 
events. There are many more of you who deserve 
to step forward and show the great things you do. 

What also makes our network useful and 
influential is the potential to financially support 
and mentor future talented journalists of color. 
This year we witnessed our second Black 
Alumni Network scholarship winner, Sabrina 
Ford, and there will be $5,000 scholarship 
winners for at least the next three years. 

However, it is time to assure the future of this 
program. That is why we are urging many more 
of you to make pledges that will complete fund 
raising for what was just named the Phyllis T. 
Garland Memorial Scholarship [See page 3]. 

With at least $60,000 in cash and pledges in 
hand, we are most of the way to a $100,000 
permanent endowment. Are you on board? 

Twenty seven years of monthly publishing and 
activism is cause for quiet celebration. It’s also 
time to take stock of the struggle that is the 
reality of publishing. Last month, the U.S. Postal 
Service raised the rates again. Postage used to be 
our biggest expense, but that cost eased 
substantially since most BA N readers get their 
newsletters e-mailed to them or they can visit the 
Columbia J-school site. 

Nevertheless, newsgathering and electronic 
publishing has costs such as ink cartridges, paper 
[yes, paper], Internet and phone bills and bank 
fees. This is my hat-in-hand reminder urging you 
to support the publication that supports you. 

To those of you like the anonymous classmate 
who renewed generously, or those of you who 
renew when prompted, you have my undying 
gratitude and thanks. 

Black Alumni Network 

July 2007 

Page 3 


Columbia University Names Scholarship In Honor 
Of Late Ebony Editor Phyllis T. Garland 

C olumbia University's Grad¬ 
uate School of Journalism 
has renamed its Black Alumni 
Network Scholarship Fund in 
honor of Professor Emeritus 
Phyllis (Phyl) Garland, who died 
last year at age 71 (Jet, Dec. 4, 


The scholarship is now 
named the Black Alumni Network/Phyl- 
lis Garland Scholarship Fund. The goal is 
to raise S100.000 to permanently endow 
Life And Times of Madam C.J. Walker, is 
helping to spearhead the fund-raising 
effort. “This scholarship is an important 
and lusting way to both honor a true pio¬ 
neer of journalism education and to 
ensure a stream of excellent journalists 
of generations to come," she told Jet. 

Garland was a longtime editor will) 
Ebony before she joined the Columbia 
faculty in 1978 where she became the 
first tenured Black female professor at 

the scholarship. 

Wayne Dawkins, founding 
editor of the Black Alumni Net¬ 
work and one of Garland’s for¬ 
mer students, said, “Phyl Gar¬ 
land nurtured and educated us 
with all her heart and soul. Let 
us honor her by endowing t his 

A’Lelia Bundles, also a former stu¬ 
dent of Professor Garland and best-sell¬ 
ing author of On Her Own Ground: The 
the journalism school. She retired in 
2004 after 31 years of service. 

To date, .$60,000 has been raised 
toward the 8100,000goal. Contributions 
can be sent to: Sharon Meiri Fox, Colum¬ 
bia University Graduate School of Jour¬ 
nalism, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 
10027. Note that the gift is for the Black 
Alumni Network/Phyllis Garland Schol¬ 
arship Fund, n 

—Clarence Waldron 

On June 18, JET magazine published a story about our drive to endow a scholarship now named 
for Phyllis T. Garland. Give generously, and soon. Fox’s e-mail address is 
After the 12 th line of column one, pick up first line of column two. And after line 12 on column two, 
resume reading line 13 of column one. Reprint courtesy of JET magazine 


“Echoes of an era - BAM and Nam,” by Kissette Bundy, ’87, announced the publication of 
“New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement,” 17 essays by art and cultural historians Lisa Gail Collins 
and Margo Natalie Crawford. The anthology, wrote Bundy, is an analysis of the 
work and vision of the national Black Arts Movement from 1965 to 1976. Her piece 
appeared in The International Review of African American Art spring edition, 
volume 21, number 2. Visit 

At Book Expo America in New York May 31 -June 2, we said hello to 
Evette Porter, ’87, editor for Kimani Press, an African-American oriented imprint 
of Harlequin Books. Porter attended the African American Pavilion events on 
May 31. She was giddy about news that classmate Olivera Perkins was selected as 
a 2007-08 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Perkins, a Cleveland Plain Dealer 
reporter, will study the racial implications of urban sprawl, how policy decisions 
affect racially segregated housing patterns and what role those decisions play in high urban foreclosure 
rates, according to the Nieman Foundation news release. 

Black Alumni Network July 2007 Page 4 

N AB J 6l6Cti0nS: liberalized voting procedures introduced 

In August, National Association of Black Journalists members elect a new president and 13 additional 
national board officers to serve from 2007-2009. In addition, voters have two proposed constitutional 
amendments to consider: The first asks for closer ties by affiliate chapter leaders to NABJ, and 
the second proposal asks that college chapter advisers at least be full or associate members of NABJ. 

For the first time, wrote Elections Committee Chairman Herbert Lowe, members can vote electronically 
for the candidates through Friday, Aug. 10. The online polls opened June 8. July 1 is the deadline for 
current or lapsed full, associate and student members to renew so they are eligible to vote via mail-in ballot 
or electronically. To understand the rules and to vote, visit the elections page at 

Members can vote electronically for candidates through Friday, Aug. 10 

The presidential candidates are Barbara Ciara of WTKR NewsChannel 3, Norfolk, Va., and Cheryl Smith, 
executive editor of the Dallas Weekly. Five of the six national offices have contested elections. Only 
the treasurer's office is uncontested. There are uncontested candidates, too, for five of six regional director 
seats. The Region 3 director seat [Seven Southern states] was vacant. [Tammy Carter of the Orlando 
Sentinel is current director.] The associate representative seat is also uncontested. 

Time will tell whether the liberalized voting procedures will increase participation. In 2005, less than one 
third of about 2,000 eligible full voting members cast ballots in a three-way presidential race that was won 
by Bryan Monroe, vice president/editorial director of Ebony and Jet magazines. Unlike the last election, 
there is competition in the vice president, secretary, parliamentarian and student representative races. 
Similar to two years ago one regional seat is vacant; in 2005 it was Region 4 [11 Midwestern states]. 

In 2005, members left the Atlanta convention assured that a $2 million operating budget was reporting 
surpluses. This year as members get ready to go to Las Vegas, several challenger candidates criticized the 
association’s reported $641,000 deficit and promised to make significant changes. - Wayne Dawkins 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 

THANK YOU new and renewing subscribers from Jacksonville, Fla. 

PayPal is an option in addition to checks. Visit and ask for “August Press.” 




108 Terrell Road 

P.O. Box 6693 

Newport News, VA 23606 


$25 one year 
$40 two years 


Alumni ‘Miracle’ goes to movies, 3 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 lh year/ August 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 8 

Record Journalism Fund alumni giving; up 27 percent 

Columbia University journalism alumni last month set a new record for financial aid giv ing 
with $544,919, school officials reported. The 2006-07 fund-raising goal was $500,000, explained 
Sharon Meiri Fox of the development office. But alumni gave more. The participation rate was 17 percent, 
or 1,377 men and women, exceeding a 15-percent goal for the fiscal year that ended June 30. 

During fiscal year 2005-06 alumni giving, 1,191 participants gave $425,000, Fox said. No ting the last 
two years, she told two dozen class agents in an e-mail message, “This is a historic moment for the 

J-school, especially when you consider that only a few years ago, the alumni 
fund was $185,000. This year is nearly triple that.” All money raised goes 
directly to financial aid for J-school students. Tuition is $39,000 a year to 
attend the J-school, and that’s before room and board. 

Fund raising includes monies collected for the Phyllis T. Garland Memorial 
Scholarship. Agents are working to raise $100,000 in order to endow the 
scholarship and allow interest to generate future scholarships. Dani McLain, 

’06, and Sabrina Ford, ’07, [photo] were the first winners of the former 
Black Alumni Network scholarship. Last month, individual gifts of $1,000, 

$300, $250 and $200 pushed the fond total to $60,620, said Fox on July 23. 

[Read alumna Sheryl Hilliard Tucker’s appreciation, page 3] 

Class agents include A’Lelia Bundles, ’76; Wayne Dawkins, ’80, and Frances Hardin, ’77. 

Fox said she anticipates working closely with class agents for the spring 2008 reunion 
in New York. Those agents represent the years 2003, 1998,1993,1988,1983 and more. 


Alumni breakfast, book parties, how to 
transition from industry to academy 

The annual Black Alumni Network [Columbia University Journalism] Breakfast at NABJ-Las Vegas 
is 8 to 9:15 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 11 at The Big Kitchen Buffet inside Bally’s Las Vegas hotel. 

Breakfast is on your own. For those who are feeling charitable, treat a recent graduate to breakfast. 

To RSVP, call 800-268-4338, or send e-mail to 

The breakfast meeting agenda includes an update on fund-raising progress for Phyllis T. Garland 
Memorial Scholarship Endowment. Last year, J-school faculty and convention recruiters broke bread 
with us and made announcements and we welcome more of the same next month. 

Authors Showcase, Aug. 9-11 

A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, Wayne Dawkins, ’80 and Andrea King Collier co-coordinated three-day NABJ 
Authors Showcase. It kicks off with a hands-on breakfast workshop at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, Regina 
Brooks, an agent, Patrice Gaines, an author and writing coach and Dawkins, “a self-publishing and small 
Continued on back page 

Black Alumni Network 

August 2007 

Turn lemons into lemonade during bookselling game 

BUFFALO, N.Y. - At the Buffalo Book Fair held here July 6-7,1 could have used a tall glass of lemonade 
to complement the hearty meal I enjoyed at the "Books, Blues & Barbecue" reception I attended. 
Figuratively speaking, I squeezed a lot of juice out of lemons. As I prepare to arrive in Las Vegas for this 
month’s Authors Showcase at NABJ, I now share some of that juice as I think about the constant vigilance 
self-published authors must endure in order to compete. 

Two weeks before the Buffalo fair, I was informed that my 14-year-old 
company, August Press, did not exist. The community relations manager could 
not find my books in her database. I smelled a rat. Let me call Barnes & Noble 
corporate and follow up with you, I suggested. I called New York City and 
fortunately got through to the small press manager. I explained that I was holding 
a paid check stub for books Barnes & Noble sold last spring, so what’s going on? 
B&N’s small press database said August Press had “gone out of business,” but 
no one told yours truly the owner. 

The manager apologized for the error, then laughed and said “mistakes happen.” 

Wayne DaWklnS/Commentary 

Indeed they do, too often for me. I’ve pointed out errors about August Press book information listed on 
corporate Web sites. Sometimes the errors get fixed, and sometimes the people on the other line shrug and 
say maybe they’ll fix the errors. Advice to self-publishers: Don’t be victims. Do your best to check in with 
booksellers and distributors who handle your books. 

Don’t assume they will take care of business because they’re bigger. 

With my existence confirmed, the reasonable local B&N rep in Upstate New York gave me the OK to ship 
the books. I shipped 25 copies of three of my titles, including “Black Voices in Commentary: The Trotter 
Group” on June 27 with a U.S. Postal Service “Delivery Confirmation” tracking receipt. “Media Mail,” the 
Post Office book rate, usually gets to its destination within four to seven days. I intended to fly to Buffalo 
on July 6 and meet the books that I shipped ahead. 

However after my last online check that morning, could only confirm that my books were 
accepted at the Newport News, Va. Post Office on June 27. Gulp. I sealed up a stash of 20 books and 
carried the box on my flight. I did not want to do this, but I also did not want to go to a book fair without 
books to sell. When I arrived, I went to the Books, Blues & Barbecue reception and sought out the 
community relations manager. We made arrangements to deliver my books to her tent before 8 a.m. the 
next morning. Hustle paid off. The local Barnes & Noble had my books to sell for two, 30-minute book 
signings, the first immediately after a panel I shared with Washington Post writers Michael Fletcher and 
Kevin Merida, then about 15 minutes later at the outdoor tent. I sold out one title, and local columnist Rod 
Watson, among 23 contributors to the Trotter Group book, stopped by and we moved a handful of books. 

When my signing time was over, I thanked the bookseller for her cooperation and asked when do we settle 
on the unsold books to be returned? Instead, Dawn Everett asked me to sign the remaining books; she 
intended to keep them in her store. Ooh, apparently I made a good impression. That night, I accepted an 
invitation from New York Assembly member Crystal Peoples to read at a reception. In an intimate crowd 
of poets, performance artists and novelists, I believed the two pieces I read - a commentary and reportage 
from “Rugged Waters” - were warmly received. 

I had a wonderful time in Upstate New York. A few bookselling obstacles occurred before the festivities. I 
wobbled a little but refused to be knocked down and out. By the way, that missing box of books I shipped 
turned up in Buffalo on July 9, two days after the festival ended. I encourage new authors to anticipate 
challenges, overcome them and save your energy for engaging audiences and customers. 

See you in Las Vegas! 

August 2007 

Black Alumni Network 


Page 3 

Reginald Stuart, ’71, wrote about Detroit 40 years after the devastating riots of July 1967 for the 
July/August edition of The Crisis, magazine of the NAACP. Stuart’s piece began with this anecdote: R&B 
star Martha Reeves and her Vandellas were backstage and about to go out and perform their new hit 
“Jimmy Mack,” but she was pulled aside. Instead of singing she was told to advise the crowd to go home 
because a curfew was issued. “Outside, the sirens were wailing. You could hear gunshots. It was very 
frightening,” Reeves told Stuart. Today, the singer is a member of the Detroit City Council and she told 
the author she was optimistic about the struggling city’s future. 

“Miracle at St. Anna,” a novel by James McBride, ’80, is to be made into 
Spike Lee’s next movie, the filmmaker announced last month in Rome. 
McBride’s 2002 book told the story of the all-black Army 92nd Division Buffalo 
Soldiers who fought the Nazi occupation of Italy during World War II. The GIs 
“discover humanity in a small Tuscan village in the peasants who shelter them, in 
the unspoken affection of an orphaned child, in a newfound faith in fellow man,” 
said the publisher. McBride also authored the New York Times bestseller “The 
Color of Water.” 

Gil Griffin, ’94, served as an adjunct professor to Ari Goldman at the J-school. 
Griffin was a staff writer at newspapers in California and New Mexico and was an editor with the former 
YSB [Young Sisters and Brothers] lifestyle magazine, reported 116* & Broadway. That journal also 
profiled Shala Harris, ’00, winner of a Peabody award for “The Education of Ms. Groves,” a documentary 
chronicling the struggle of a first-year English teacher at a middle school in Atlanta. The piece aired on 
“Dateline NBC” last August, 

We said hi to Cora Daniels, ’94, and Jill Nelson, ’80, participants at Buffalo Book fair. Thanks to 
Toni Randolph, ’88, of Minnesota Public Radio. She gave us dining tips about her hometown because 
the Taste of Buffalo was going on the week of the July 7 book fair. If you are unable to attend NABJ- 
Las Vegas, count on Michelle Johnson, ’82, to bring the news to you. She will be directing the student 
online project that broadcasts convention events and allows many people to attend the convention virtually. 

I lust wanna testify: Phyllis T. Garland’s gift 

It’s a real gift to make everyone you touch seem special. That’s especially true when you choose 
teaching as your profession. Phyl Garland had this gift, which is why she was such a wonderful 
Master’s Thesis adviser. 

Professor Garland challenged me at every level — my story pitch, my reporting, 
my writing and my sources. But instead of being overwhelmed, I was inspired to 
dig in and work harder. I knew this was my only chance to get this level of 
guidance, make mistakes and not be fired from a job. Phyl forced me to go beyond 
the obvious and focus on what really mattered in a story — what the reader truly 
cared about. 

That approach has served me well as a journalist, and I thank Professor Garland 
for her insights, enthusiasm, encouragement and support over the years. 

— Sheryl Hilliard Tucker, J-’82, executive editor. Time Inc. Her thesis was about 

the new guard of young black and Latino politicians transforming the New York City landscape. 

Black Alumni Network 

August 2007 

Page 4 


The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is seeking an assistant director of photography in charge of the 
assignment desk to help lead, coach and inspire its award-winning Department of Photography. The 
successful candidate will coordinate and communicate with the photo and newsroom staffs to produce the 
best visual content in print and online and work with our Online Visuals Producer to help produce 
compelling video and multimedia for Candidates should have at least five years 
experience as a photojoumalist, picture editor or photo manager at a daily newspaper; familiarity with the 
photo assignment process and strong picture editing skills; solid leadership skills to assist in managing 27 
photojoumalists, image technicians and picture editors in our offices throughout South Florida; be a strong 
advocate for visual journalism; have excellent communication skills and a track record of teamwork and 
flexibility; mentoring skills to foster a quality picture-editing environment. Submit a resume, vision 
statement and portfolios/work samples to Kathy Pellegrino, recruitment editor, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 
200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 or to . 

The newspaper also seeks a Business Reporter. The ideal candidate will be a seasoned journalist with 
outstanding reporting and writing skills, and the ability to develop strong enterprise for 1A and section 
fronts on a regular basis on a variety of issues. Some areas of reporting would include personal technology 
issues, as well as other topics. Reporters are expected to report for our print and online editions. Experience 
in business reporting at a daily newspaper is preferred, as is the ability to speak Spanish. The Sun-Sentinel 
is located in Fort Lauderdale, in one of the most beautiful regions — and one of the most competitive media 
markets — in the country. In addition to the daily newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel also produces sun-, reports for radio and television and a variety of specialty publications. Submit a cover letter, 
resume and up to 10 clips to Kathy Pellegrino. Computer Assisted Reporting Specialist - Seeking an 
aggressive, skilled Computer-Assisted Reporting specialist to work with reporters and editors throughout 
the newsroom on CAR dailies and projects. The specialist will work as part of a two-person CAR team on 
database acquisition and analysis, mapping, training of newsroom staff and development of Intranet Web 
pages for use by reporters. This person will also work closely with the staff of our company Internet site,, to develop databases that can be posted on the World Wide Web. The ideal candidate 
will have reporting experience, strong communications skills and be fluent with Microsoft Excel, Access, 
SQL and ArcGIS with at least two years experience in CAR work. Web development, second language 
skills and writing abilities are a plus. Submit a resume, a vision statement and clips to Kathy Pellegrino, 
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 or to . 

The Virginian-Pilot, a 200,000-circulation daily newspaper serving residents of southeastern Virginia and 
northeastern North Carolina, is seeking an assistant copy desk team leader. This person will be 
responsible for safeguarding accuracy, coaching and developing copy editors, enforcing style and grammar, 
and making deadline. In addition, this person copy edits stories that appear in The Pilot, works in slot, 
writes headlines and captions, and proofs pages, maps and graphics. Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight five days a 
week. Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, five years 
newsroom experience as a copy editor or reporter 

Apply online at https://landmarkcom.ats.hrsmart.eom/cgi-bin/a/highlightiob.cgi7iobkH151 5 
or go to and enter job code 1515 in Quick Search. 

All applications must be submitted online. Contact: Denise Bridges, director of newsroom recruitment. 

The Virginian-Pilot 

Southern California Public Radio seeks a reporter. To apply, go to and click on the Job Openings link. 

Click on the Reporter job opening 274-07 to apply online and submit a resume and cover letter. In 
addition to completing the online application, e-mail a resume and cover letter to 

August 2007 

Black Alumni Network 

Book review 

Page 5 

David Dinkins and New York City Politics: Race, Images and the Media 

Wilbur C. Rich, State University Press of New York, 2007, $35, ISBN 0-914-6949-2 

In chapter one of nine, the 23-page “Introduction,” political scientist Wilber Rich is trying - quite badly - 
to describe Mayor David Dinkins’ relationship with the New York City press. The Wellesley [Mass.] 
College professor’s first blooper is to state that The New York Times is the paper of choice for city hall 
coverage. Many New Yorkers, like this native, might find that claim laughable and point out that on most 
days the Times shares the authority with the succinct, working-class New York Daily News. 

Then a serious omission was no mention of the feisty black weekly The City Sun of Brooklyn, but a 
handful of references to the status-quo Amsterdam News. Full disclosure: I am writing a book about The 
City Sun and its publisher Andrew W. Cooper, so that paper, famous for calling Dinkins “a wimp” before 
of his failed re-election bid, and respected for reliably critiquing the mayor’s performance, was MIA. 

Rich staggers again when he uses a poor choice of words: “If a mayor’s 
prevailing image is positive ...” Instead of “positive,” which sounds out of touch 
in the bare-knuckle world of big city governing, “effective” would have been a 
better word choice. Effective mayors are SOBs who don’t have positive images. 
Just check the records of Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, mayors wedged between 
New York’s first black mayor Dinkins. 

Enough nitpicking. As the second and subsequent chapters flow, Rich is in 
command in measuring Dinkins’ successes and failures with the ethnic tribes 
of New York, the labor unions, managing the perception of reducing crime 
and increasing school performance. 

Dinkins [ photo] 

Dinkins, Rich credibly writes, was in a no-win situation. New Yorkers appreciated predecessor Koch’s 
tough fiscal love, but tired of him after a dozen years when he spoke inappropriately after several 
inflammatory racial incidents. Koch’s third and final term was the era of Howard Beach, Tawana Brawley 
and the Central Park jogger rape. 

Dinkins, a former Manhattan Borough President and City Clerk, was perceived by fans as a racial healer, 
and he promised to lead a beautiful “mosaic,” an American image that reflects 21 st century reality, but 
seemed odd and discordant to critics who wanted to hear about the anachronistic “melting pot.” That may 
explain why press coverage criticized Dinkins’ opaque speech pattern because they wanted sharply edged 
words. But what did the media, to single out one interest group expect? Dinkins was a healer to a fault. 

Rich breaks down Dinkins’ doomed mayoralty and hits home runs when he analyzed why African- 
American voters were difficult to organize in the city’s five counties, aka boroughs, compared to black 
mayoral successes in Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. In a city of sizable Jewish, 
Italian, Hispanic and Irish tribes, the formidable but far from dominant 25-percent black tribe needed to 
play a shrewd game of coalition politics to get over. But New York’s black bloc was seriously fragmented 
and furthermore contentious at pivotal moments when cohesiveness was necessary. Dinkins, who served 
from 1990-1994, suffered. He lost a rematch with Giuliani. 

Despite a shaky start, “David Dinkins and New York City Politics” is an appreciated analysis of that city’s 
first black mayor attempting to govern what was sometimes called an ungovernable city. 

-- Wayne Dawkins. The writer, who grew up in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant, lives in Newport News, Va. 

&»$ osT 

Black Alumni Network Tw toiB fiif 2007 Page 6 

IAS VEGAS PLANNER, Authors Showcase/continued 

press guru,” said NABJ’s June 28 announcement. The trio will address topics such as turning your ideas 
into a solid and salable book proposal, finding the right agent, creating a winning sample chapter, and 
discussing self-publishing vs. going through traditional publishers. The “Turning Your Beat into a Book” 
panel is in the afternoon. 

That evening, the Celebrity Reception is 6:30-8 p.m. and will feature bestselling author Walter Mosley, 
who will talk about “This Year You Write Your Novel,” his latest book. Actress 
Victoria Rowell will discuss her memoir, “The Women Who Raised Me,” and NABJ 
champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will chat about his book “On the Shoulders of Giants: 
My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance.” Member authors will also be there to 
sign their books. They include Cora Daniels, ’94, author of “Ghetto Nation,” and 
Dawkins, editor and contributing author to “Black Voices in Commentary: The 
Trotter Group.” On Friday, attend “The Real Deal on Book Publishing Panel” and 
the Saturday morning “Book Collaborations” panel that shows and tells how writers 
teamed with celebrities and professional athletes. 

Visit for online updates. 

Newsroom to classroom, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p in. Saturday, Aug. 11 

Are you ready to move your full-time work from the newsroom to the classroom? Are you ready 
to do much more than lecture and grade papers? Get ready to serve on university committees, 
advise dozens of students and co-manage your department or school. Cultural differences between 
newsrooms and classrooms are dramatic, yet not foreboding if you come prepared. This session will help. 
Tony Cox of California State University is the moderator, Bonnie Newman Davis of Virginia 
Commonwealth University, Gerald Jordan of the University of Arkansas and Wayne Dawkins 
of Hampton University are panelists. 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded 
in May 1980 and since July the group has published a monthly newsletter. The BA Newsletter’s mission 
is to keep people connected. We publish job changes and moves, news about books and films published 
or produced by alumni, and family milestones. And of course we keep alumni connected to news from 
the Columbia GSJ. Log on to our Web site at or see our link 
on the home page of Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments, suggestions to Or call 800-268-4338 

THANK YOU July subscribers. 

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Alumni Media ‘evangelists’ work Sin city Page 2 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ September 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 9 

Wheeling and dealing before las Vegas arrival 

Online trading by last-minute convention attendees 

By Toni Randolph 

I attended this year’s NABJ convention in Las Vegas as a recruiter for my employer, American Public 
Media. That means the company bought my registration. But by the time I was asked to help out, I’d 
already purchased my own. So in order to get my money back, I turned to the NABJ listserv. I sold 
my registration within minutes. 

I wasn’t the only one who .--.— m used the e-mail discussion group. There were 

numerous postings seeking fl \ 7A 1 iTW or selling registrations in mid-July. The deadline 
for pre-registration was July § § Jj \fXLjl § 1 • The pre-registration rate was $320. After the 
deadline, it was $675. \j 

Manny Smith, a news assignment editor for Fox News Channel in New York, was searching 
the listserv for a registration after the rate had jumped. “I thought it would be a good place to 
shop around for a better price,” he said. 

INSIDE: Authors Showcase, page 5, Newsroom to Classroom, page 7 

Continued on page 6 

1-alumni breakfast at Bally’s las Vegas 

By Angela Chatman 

LAS VEGAS - Fourteen Columbia J-School alums gathered for the annual Black Alumni Network 
breakfast at the National Association of Black Journalists’ convention and jobs fair here last month. 

As usual, the occasion helped new and old J-School graduates share what they have been doing 
over the past year and get news of the school. 

A 1978 alumna turned over a check for $50 to BA Network organizer and editor Wayne Dawkins ’80 
for the Phyllis T. Garland Memorial Scholarship at the Aug. 11 breakfast. The scholarship fund now 
has more than $60,000. The goal is $100,000. 

In July, a handful of alums anted up nearly $2,000 
for the Phyllis T. Garland Scholarship fund 

In July, a handful of alums anted up nearly $2,000 for the fund. As an example, Dawkins announced 
that he has made a three-year, $600 commitment to the fund. He pays in installments. 

J-School graduates attending the breakfast included Akisa Omulepu, ’07; Shartia Brantley, ’07; 
Wendell Edwards, ’97; Jeff Mays, ’97; Martina Stewart, ’07, and Reginald Stuart, ’71. 

Also, Lawrence Aaron,’70; Toni Randolph, ’88; Doxle A. McCoy, ’78; Angela Chatman, ’77; 
Stacey Samuel, ’06; Frank McCoy, ’86, Betty Winston Baye, ’80, and Dawkins. 

Black Alumni Network September 2007 Page 2 

Media evangelists at work in sin city 

Diversions galore, yet NABJ focused on media industry challenges 

LAS VEGAS - Longtime Washington, D.C. anchorman Jim Vance said he and his wife couldn’t stop 
smiling as they walked the corridors of Bally’s Casino Hotel Aug. 8-12. 

“There were nine of us when we formed BIB - Blacks in Broadcasting - during a meeting at Lloyd’s 
on Sixth Street NW,” said the WRC-TV 4 newsman of 38 years. “Here, there are so many strong, smart 
black men and women journalists. I told my wife, we can rest, they got it.” 

Vance said this as he and three other journalists were inducted into the National Association 
of Black Journalists Hall of Fame Aug. 11. 

Anecdotal reports suggest that the 32 nd NABJ convention, the first ever in this 
convention-centric community, was unusual. Despite the incessant bells, 
whistles, cheers and groans from gamblers in the casino, on the busiest 
workshop, plenary and job fair days, several thousand attendees walked briskly 
to appointments, tuning out the gambling. 

Such disinterest in gaming by many of the black journalist visitors suggested that 
their status in newsrooms were already games of chance. 

Tribune Co. [Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun] is 
completing a sale to developer Sam Zell while Dow Jones [Wall Street Journal] 
recently agreed to sell to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. [Fox, New York Post], 
Wayne BawMiS/Dispatch Other media companies announced sluggish revenues and the probable need 
to cut jobs. 

NABJ conventioneers, notorious for working and playing hard for a sleep-deprived four days, appeared to 
place extra emphasis on the work this year, as Vance proudly observed. 

Rare Western visit 

In 31 years, the Las Vegas convention was the fourth NABJ meeting in the West. The others were Los 
Angeles [1990]; Seattle as one of four Unity-Journalists of Color partners [1999]; and Phoenix [2000]. 

On Aug. 8, opening day of the Las Vegas convention, 2,800 attendees arrived, reported NABJ watcher 
Richard Prince. If the traditional travel patterns of the members were consistent, NABJ was poised to 
eclipse its all-time convention attendance record of 3,300 in Chicago [1997], 

So what drew all these people to Las Vegas, if it was for more than gambling and other “sins”? 

How about addresses by two U.S. presidential candidates? Democratic U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton 
and Barack Obama spoke on Aug. 9 and 10 respectively. 

Moderator Suzanne Malveaux, J-’91, put a counterspin on the national media narrative. 

She asked Clinton if she was “black enough” to be president. 

During her address to the members, Clinton voiced her concern about the high numbers of black males 
out of work, in trouble and not contributing to society. “What I consider to be a crisis is 1.4 million 
young males out of school, out of work and out of hope,” she said. “That includes one out of three 
African-American men. We’re wringing our hands and having the same conversation. I reject that.” 

Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network September 2007 Page 3 

NABJ-Ias Vegas/ Continued 

In a 45-minute meeting afterward with the Trotter group of columnists - of which I am a member - Clinton 
joked that she was in an “interracial marriage.” That was the senator’s sly reference to Toni Morrison’s 
description of former President Bill Clinton as “the first black president.” 

For Obama, he pulled a theatrical stunt to express his weariness with of questions challenging his blackness 
- or lack thereof. After a 10-minute delay, the senator explained, “Sorry that I’m late, but you know how 
they say I’m not black enough.” The crowd roared in response Obama’s wink at CP [Colored People’s] 
time. Afterwards, during a meeting with the Trotter columnists, Obama said that media elites and militants 
who keep projecting the “is he black enough?” stories are lazy. Who questioned his race this obsessively, 
Obama asked, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004? 

The senator did acknowledge that there were many black supporters - especially women - who were afraid 
that he just might succeed. Responding to a question from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, 
Obama said many people are concerned about his safety, yet he also noted 300,000 donors have given to 
his campaign, triple the volume of his competitors. “The country,” he said, “Is desperate for change.” 

In person, Obama seemed more confident than he was in late June when he was overly cautious at the 
Howard University Democratic candidate debate. The best thing that may have happened to the senator 
from Illinois was for Clinton to go after him and call Obama “naive” on foreign policy for suggesting 
that he would meet with leaders of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba if elected president. 

At NABJ, Clinton saved most of her jabs for the GOP candidates and incumbent George W. Bush. 

The senator from New York referenced the pale, male Republican field and promised that in the 
White House, she would follow the “rule of law, not rule of Bush,” a dig at the politically motivated 
firings of U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department. 

The other election 

As NABJ members enthusiastically covered U.S. Presidential candidates, many of them also elected 
their new leaders. Barbara Ciara, incumbent vice president/broadcast and anchorwoman at Norfolk, Va.’s 
WTKR-TV 3 [CBS], defeated challenger Cheryl Smith, a former board member and current editor with 
the Dallas Weekly. 

When the results were announced late Friday at the banquet, Ciara hugged Smith 
at the dais and said both women made a pledge “to work together and make a better 
NABJ.” Ciara continued, “We were both ladies during the process; we didn’t have to 
get witchy and now we’ll be like sisters.” 

Her words were telling because this was the first women-only presidential election. 
The race was competitive - Ciara won 52 percent of the votes, 310 to 282 - yet it 
was troubling that only one third of 1,798 eligible full members bothered to vote. 

More troubling since NABJ leaders expanded the democratic process. For the first 
Barbara Ciara time, online voting began in June and continued through the Friday of the convention. 
The candidates held pre-convention forums in Atlanta, Chicago and New York. 

Two do minatin g themes was saving and creating jobs for members in an economically stressed media 
environment, and erasing NABJ’s $640,000 budget deficit. At the convention business meeting 
the board of directors projected that 2007 would end with at least a $100,000 surplus. 

The leaders assured attendees that they fixed mistakes. One fix was to move the awards program back to 

Continued on page 4 

September 2007 

Page 4 

Black Alumni Network 

Other election/contmued previous page 

the summer convention. When it was separated and made a fall event in Washington in recent years, the 
gala ran over budget and did not attract enough people since it was East Coast-oriented. Unfortunately, few 
members showed up to hear about the financial health of NABJ. About 65 people attended the meeting - 
many of them current and former board members. Want to bet there are more than 65 members who 
complain about convention registration costs, lack of sponsored meals, or hotel rates? Where were they? 

Black history indeed 

This convention was President Bryan Monroe’s victory tour. “Come Sunday,” he said quoting 
the counsel he received from a past president, “You’ll be black history.” 

Indeed, Monroe was a historic blessing for NABJ because of unpredictable currents. Less than 24 hours 
after he was elected in 2005, a journalism student at the Atlanta convention died from malaria she 
contracted in Africa. Monroe traveled overseas to call attention to the problem. He also was hands-on 
in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort that year. 

Then the news executive lost his job when his company, newspaper giant Knight 
Ridder, went out of business. Monroe landed at Johnson Publishing Co. as 
editorial director. He brought a handful of NABJ stars from the mainstream press 
and has invigorated Ebony magazine. For NABJ, Monroe and Co. resumed 
regular publication of the NABJ Journal. Also, Monroe, known for his digital 
skills, enhanced NABJ’s online presence with frequent e-mail blasts, a user- 
friendlier Web site and the promotion of 

Furthermore, Monroe should be most remembered for his unblinking leadership 
on the Don Imus case. NABJ took the lead in demanding the shock jock’s 
dismissal after he called the young women of the Rutgers University basketball 
team “Nappy headed ho’s.” 

Probably the evidence that Monroe was on point was the sniping that occurred on blogs before the 
convention. For example, in reply to a TV Week online story about NABJ, readers called Monroe a 
“fascist” and “opportunist,” and wondered when was the “National Association of White Journalists” 
meeting? Media watcher Richard Prince’s answer to the smug critics: If they bothered to look up when and 
why NABJ was created, and checked the diversity numbers of mainstream associations, they’d rethink the 
NAWJ notion, journalists united on di.php 

No wonder Jim Vance of Washington was pleased to see strength in numbers, voices and action 
in the corridors of a casino hotel Aug. 8-12. 

Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, martyr 

A week before the National Association of Black Journalists convention, Chauncey Bailey, 57, editor 
of the black weekly Oakland Post, was gunned down as he was walking to work. Police charged a 
19-year-old handyman as the assailant. Authorities said Devaughndre Broussard confessed to killing 
Bailey because the journalist was investigating troubled business practices of Your Muslim Bakery 
in Oakland, prince/ also prince/ 

NABJ-Las Vegas made time for many tributes to Bailey, including condolences from senators Hillary 
Clinton and Barack Obama. Bailey was well known to NABJ members as an aggressive and colorful 
reporter for the Detroit News and later the Oakland Tribune, before he left mainstream newspapers to serve 
the black press. Bailey’s death brought to mind the 1976 murder of Arizona Republic investigative 
reporter Don Bolles, whose car was bombed. 

Black Alumni Network 

September 2007 

Page 5 

Star-studded and data-rich Authors Showcase 

By Wayne Dawkins 

LAS VEGAS - aspiring authors, you have to commit daily to writing that novel or memoir. 

Second, beware of the “suntan effect,” advised a literary agent. That’s the glow people get from 
an informative convention workshop, then the fading ability to follow through when the same people 
come home and life delays their assignments. 

Walter Mosley offered the writing advice at the NABJ Authors Showcase reception Aug. 9. With 150 
people packed like sardines in a meeting room, Mosley, dressed in his trademark black fedora, jacket and 
shirt, answered questions pitched by interviewer Elsa Nefertari Ulen, author of “Crystelle Mourning.” 

Mosley said he writes every day for l'A to three hours. This routine is essential for fiction writers, 
explained the author of “This is the Year You Write Your Novel” [April 2007, Little, Brown and 
Company], Go four to five days without writing said Mosley, and the novelist could lose a year of effort. 

Unlike nonfiction writers, who are often political or advocates driven to educate readers, novelists have 
different missions, said Mosley. Novelists, he explained, have to climb into themselves to write their truths. 
Such immersion demands a writing routine and commitment. That does not mean the first draft of the 
manuscript has to be pretty. “The first draft is not a book, it’s a notion,” said the author of 10 mysteries 
about reluctant L.A. private eye Easy Rawlins. “It’s ugly, but not worthless.” 

‘The first draft is not a book, it’s a notion.’ - Walter Mosley 

That morning, Regina Brooks of New York-based Serendipity Lit, cautioned writers about the “suntan 
effect.” In order for her to pursue a book contract. Brooks needed two to three nonfiction manuscript 
chapters [or from novelists, a complete manuscript], and a proposal that explains why the book should be 
published. To get there with a successful proposal, Brooks said authors must build a publishing platform, 
proof in the proposal that you are an expert in the topic you are writing about and show off your body of 
work, credentials and contacts that qualify you. Yes, old-school journalists were taught to muzzle the urge 
to brag. You’re only as good as your last story, editors often remind news people. However in the book 
business, bragging is essential in order to get over. Just be sure to back up the boasts. 

The audience appeared to be highly motivated. Despite the 7:30 a.m. start - and let’s repeat that the venue 
was Las Vegas - about 70 people jammed into a meeting room filled with 50 chairs. At the afternoon 
session, “How to turn your beat into a book,” 70 people again returned, and a handful of chairs was 
squeezed into the room. The afternoon crowd heard Andrea King Collier [“The Black Woman’s Guide to 
Black Men’s Health”] moderate a panel that included authors Sharon Epperson, Michelle Singletary, 
Aundrea Lacy, Amy DuBois Barnett, Tara Roberts and David Steele. 

By the way, during the evening reception, Mosley wasn’t the only celebrity in the room. It was impossible 
to miss this guest: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talked about “On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey through 
the Harlem Renaissance,” his memoir about civil rights activism, sports and culture in Harlem during his 
childhood and formative years. The NBA and collegiate superstar said the 1970 New York Knicks were not 
that city’s first pro basketball champions; the initial crown belonged to the 1939 Harlem Rens, who broke 
the color barrier when they successfully competed for a championship. Abdul-Jabbar held his book and 
towered over the attentive audience. 

Other celebrity authors who participated were chef Jeff Henderson [“Cooked”] and actress 
Victoria Rowell [“The Women Who Raised Me”]. About 20 NABJ-member authors mingled 
with the crowd at the reception. 

Black Alumni Network September 2007 Page 6 

Wheeling and dealing in las Vegas/cnuei 

Smith hadn’t pre-registered because he wasn’t sure was going to be able to attend the convention. 

Once he figured out that he could go, the deadline to get the cheaper rate had passed. Smith said Fox 
would reimburse him, but that didn’t remove all the barriers. “It’s still money spent up front and 
it would have cost nearly $700,” he said. “It’s a prohibitive cost.” 

In the end, Smith didn’t need the listserv because he was asked to produce the plenary session 
on former talk-show host Don Imus, and the session with Sen. Barack Obama. In exchange 
for his service, he received a complimentary registration from NABJ. 

Unlike Smith, Jennifer Jiggetts, now a features intern at 
The Virginian-Pilot, had planned to attend the convention as far back 
as March. She bought her registration at the early-bird rate. But as the 
convention approached, her plans changed. Jiggetts graduated from 
Norfolk State University last spring and she went to Paris as a 
graduation gift to herself. 

When she returned, Jiggetts said she had a spate of car trouble: “The 
money I spent on my car was Vegas money.” So she turned to the 
NABJ listserv to sell her registration. 

Toni Randolph “I was desperate,” said Jiggetts. But shortly after she put up the post 

to sell her registration, she said she got several phone calls and e-mail messages from members 
wanting to take it off her hands. 

“I wasn’t expecting to get all the responses I received,” she said. “It was a win-win.” 

NABJ doesn’t view these transactions as “sales,” but rather “transfers.” It’s not something the association 
promotes. “We try to discourage folks from doing that [transferring registrations] as much as possible,” 
explained NABJ spokeswoman Kristen Palmer. “We have a small staff. It doesn’t seem like a lot 
[of work], but it can be a lot of time to stop what you’re doing to process other things.” 

NABJ doesn’t view these transactions 
as ‘sales,’ but rather ‘transfers.’ 

Palmer said a member can transfer his or her registration 30 days before the convention begins. 

After that, transfers are approved by the executive director on a case-by-case basis. 

But many of the postings for buying and selling registrations came well after that deadline. In fact, there 
was a flurry of activity, even days before the convention with members searching for hotels rooms 
or trying to buy and sell registrations. 

Palmer, who monitors the NABJ listserv, said, “Just because folks were trying to buy 
[registrations with posting on the listserv] doesn’t mean they were able to do so.” 

More than 3,000 people registered for the convention in Las Vegas. 

However, Palmer said only about 20 or 25 of them were transfers. 

The writer is a 1988 Columbia University Journalism graduate and is based at Minnesota Public Radio. 
Congratulations to Randolph for her NABJ radio award, “Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. ” 

Black Alumni Network 

September 2007 

Page 7 

Newsies, prepare to do missionarv work io the classroooi 

By Wayne Dawkins 

LAS VEGAS - Moderator Tony Cox of Cal State University-Los Angeles asked this panelist to rate 
four elements of campus life: The psychological shift away from the newsroom; pay; quality of life, 
and relative satisfaction and accomplishment. 

Now starting my third year at Hampton University, this industry professional of 24 years 
at five dailies, including an online newspaper, answered that: 

■ Psychologically, I don’t miss the newsroom because I have not stopped being a journalist; 

■ Reliable pay is a blessing and my family has affordable health insurance again; 

■ Spring and winter breaks and summers off are great because 12- to 14-hour days are part of the 
school grind, 

■ And yes, it is satisfying to know that I have the power to mold future solid citizens -- and even a 
few stars — of the media. 

With Bonnie Newman Davis, a longtime Richmond Times-Dispatch writer and editor who’s now an 
associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, our panel engaged in a frank conversation 
with two dozen audience members curious about making the transition to campus life. 

Do you really need a Ph.D in order to teach journalism 
and communications? asked audience members 

A handful of people asked, do they really need a Ph.D in order to teach journalism and communications? 
Cox, a broadcast journalist for about 35 years who holds a Master’s degree, said California’s junior college 
system rejected him as unqualified to teach, yet he was accepted by the California State University system. 
Go figure. Cox added that he's about to be reviewed for tenure. 

Newman-Davis offered her take on the tenure-track game, played to varying degrees depending on the 
campus - public, private or HBCU. Serbino Sandifer-Walker, J-’89, a Texas Southern University 
professor in the audience, advised, “You have to build relationships because there’s politics everywhere.” 

‘You have to build relationships because there’s 
politics everywhere.’ - Journalism professor from Houston 

Edie Huggins, a pioneering local broadcast journalist in Philadelphia who’s on the adjunct faculty at 
Temple University, asked, “Why are full-time professors so hostile to us?” The panelists and moderator 
answered that professional jealousy thrives on campus. To be fair, they added, newsroom 
professionals tend to overlook the long hours full-time professors put in on committees, in class 
preparation, student advising and grant-funded research. 

“And imagine how we felt,” said Newman-Davis, “When at this year’s commencement, an adjunct 
was named best teacher.” 

Cox wound up the 90-minute session with a challenge to the audience: Do you really want to teach black 
students? He cautioned that new professors may encounter students with a sense of entitlement, poor high 
school preparation, and personal demons or distractions that may account for moody or disruptive behavior. 

Most of the audience seemed to harbor the understanding that classroom teaching, like newsroom 
leadership, often requires a missionary's approach to hard work and delayed gratification. 

Black Alumni Network September 2007 Page 8 

Book Review: Unbending resolve during turbulent, terrifying 1960s 

By Kip Branch, J-’79 

Books like Jeff KisselofFs latest, “Generation on Fire,” are at once easy and difficult to read and write 
about. This is especially true for those of us baby boomers who, while we may want to deny it, lived 
through some of the most turbulent and terrifying times in recent American history. That’s a fact. 

From its arresting cover shot on through the oral narratives, Kisseloff succeeds in reminding us once again 
that the fires of the ’60s, which gave rise to so much social upheaval and change, owe themselves to a cadre 
of brave souls and men and women who were unafraid, as the church folk say, “cast their lot on the water.” 
I might add that they were also unafraid of throwing caution to the wind. “Generation on Fire” carefully 
records this and much more, and in their own voices. The book opens with the arresting story of freedom 
rider Bernard LaFayette who tells of the Greensboro, N.C. sit-ins to integrate lunch counters. 

“When we sat in, we always wore suits and ties because one of the first things we had to do was change 
images. We were appealing to white America to condemn the practice of segregation, and one way we did 
this was by contrasting our appearance with the hoodlums, who were dressed in black jackets and ducktail 
haircuts. Policemen were swinging billy clubs at women who had high heel shoes on. That made it difficult 
for people to identify with our opponents.” He continues: “We were also intent on desegregating the 
counters at the bus stations. I was beaten badly at an all night sit-in at the Trailways station. There were 
about ten of us there. Around four that morning, we decided to go home because we had made out point. I 
went to a phone booth to call the dormitory so they could send some cars to pick us up. While f was on the 
phone, a cab driver kicked the door open, put a headlock on me and dragged me outside. About 12 drivers 
started to beat me up ... “Every time they knocked me down, I would get up, brush off my coat, and then 
they would knock me down again. But I figured out how to roll with the punches rather than try to block 
them, so I would tumble around and get back up on my feet. It happened so much that once when I got 
back up again, I said, ‘Just a minute,’ and started cleaning up again. Because I wasn’t resisting it weakened 
their resolve.” 

The other 14 first-person stories that follow LaFayette’s and which add to KisselofFs impeccably reported 
and written narrative, are those of people who truly represented the embodiment of an era in America when 
doing the they things they did and living as they did was neither fashionable or funny, and as a result it’s 
refreshing to here them talk of themselves with candor and wit. 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 

THANKS new and renewing subscribers from New York, N.Y., St. Paul, Minn., and Friendship, Md. 
PayPal is an option in addition to checks. Visit and ask for “August Press.” 




108 Terrell Road 
P.O. Box 6693 
Newport News, VA 23606 


$25 one year 
$40 two years 



Alumni New gifts, new scholar Page 3 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ October 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 10 

Under construction: A new J-alumni association 

NEW YORK - The Columbia University Journalism Alumni Association Transition Team met Sept. 20 
to develop an operations plan for the new Alumni Association. 

Chairwoman A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, and Facilitator Gary Olsen of Villanova 
University led the day-long meeting. The 11-member team discussed then made 
recommendations on these issues: Role and function of the board, nominating and 
selection process of board members, and what should be the desired journalism 
alumni partnership with the broader university. The transition team will meet again 
Nov. 7 to complete the operations plan that is to be presented April 4, 2008 at the 
spring Alumni Association weekend. 

Last June, the 20-some member Alumni Association executive committee was dissolved based on the 
recommendation of a task force that presented a strategic plan for a revamped alumni association. 

The association will work with the staffed alumni office at the School of Journalism. 

In response to a transition team member’s question, Irena Choi Stern, ’01, said of approximately 
8,700 J-school alumni, about 3,000 live in Metropolitan tri-state New York. 

That means almost 6,000 Columbia alumni live and work around the United States and abroad. 

Alumni association leadership in recent years made moves to affirm that the organization should serve 
national and international constituencies. This was evident in recent alumni gatherings in Washington, 
Boston and on the West Coast, and in a mentor-match program that placed students with alumni from 
Manhattan, or the Eastern seaboard, or another continent. 

Continued on back page 

People: Meet the new Columbia University trustee 

A’Lelia Bundles, ’76, last month began service as a Columbia University Trustee 
[photo]. She joins university president Lee C. Bollinger and 22 other member that 
include trustees Chairman William V. Campbell, former president and CEO of Intuit. 
Read more at 

Dani McClain,’06, has been covering urban affairs and education at the Milwaukee 
Journal-Sentinel. She sent us links to “A time of unrest: Milwaukee’s and their legacy,’ and . The three-day project explained how a 
neighborhood that was hit hard in July 1967 has changed over 40 years. McClain and 
a colleague wrote the day three story. ... In late August we received an e-mail message from Mejeke K. 
Maurice Jones, ’81. He said his health has stabilized, he is teaching and writing, and “Representing 
on Langston Hughes Place,” in Harlem. 

Continued on page 3 

Black Alumni Network 

October 2007 

Page 2 

Where or Wayne? Moved to new neighborhood in cyberspace 

Wayne Dawkins’ column has moved. He is to debut this 
month at, an online venture. Visit . Dawkins, who teaches journalism at 
Hampton University, will join Lawrence Aaron, ’70, of The 
Record of Hackensack, N.J., Betty Winston 
Baye, ’80, of The Courier-Journal of 
and two dozen other African-American 
Philadelphia for the annual meeting of the 
Trotter Group Oct. 7-9. The Trotters will 
newsmakers, stage a community forum, and 
for craft sessions. The society formed in 
1992. Get their anthology, “Black Voices in Commentary,” and visit 

Louisville, Ky. 
columnists in 
William Monroe 
meet with 
meet internally 

Media Institute on Political & Congressional reporting this month 

Register on-site for the NABJ Media Institute, Political & Congressional 
Reporting, Oct. 19-21 at National Journal headquarters at the Watergate 
Complex in Washington, D.C. This seminar will give journalists of color- 
veterans and rookies - a glimpse into legislative and political reporting first 

Washington watcher and syndicated columnist Deborah Mathis will lead the Saturday 
morning opening session, “Getting to the Front of the Bus.” Two learning labs will 
follow, “What Covering State & Local Politics Taught Me About Washington, and 
“Follow the Cash: ""W How the Federal Budget Guides Congress, 

Lobbyists and // Special-Interest Groups.” Post-luncheon 

learning labs are WI \T\LJj 9 “How Congress Works,” and “What Really 

Makes News and How to Read a Bill.” 

Saturday closes with “Covering the Black Candidate,” moderated by DeWayne 
Wickham, USA Today columnist and panelists Joe Davidson, Washington Post 
assistant city editor, Michael Fletcher, Washington Post White House correspondent, 

Les Payne, Newsday associate editor emeritus, and Pamela Gentry, of BET News 
senior producer/blogger. 

There are Sunday morning sessions on online innovator and understanding the workings 
of an editorial board. On-site registration is $99 for NABJ members, and $149 for others. 

Black Alumni Network 

October 2007 

Phyl Garland Scholarship Fund update: $4,300 in new gifts 

Fellow alumni, we’re nearly two-thirds of the way there to the $100,000 endowment target. 

At the end of the fiscal year on June 30, total pledges and payments was $60,620, 
said Sharon M. Fox of die J-School development office. 

Currently for the 2007-08 fiscal year, $4,300 in new pledges and payments have come in, 
including a $2,000 pledge from a ’61 alumna, and $300 gift from a ’80 alumna, said Fox. 

The new total is $64,920. Just $35,080 remains. Let’s endow the scholarship 
in honor of Phyllis T. Garland [1935-2006, photo, left] before the spring 
alumni meeting in April 2008. The endowment will grow future scholarships 
for needy, talented students. 

Lylah Holmes of Baltimore is the 2007-08 scholarship winner. 

Sabrina Ford, ’07, and Dani McClain, ’06, were previous winners. 

Call Jodi Lipper at 212-854-4150, No. 3 or 


The South Florida Sun-Sentinel seeks a general assignment/enterprise business reporter. The ideal 
candidate will be a seasoned journalist with outstanding reporting and writing skills, and the ability to 
develop strong enterprise for 1A and section fronts on a regular basis on a variety of issues. Some areas of 
reporting would include personal technology issues, as well as other topics. Reporters are expected to 
report for our print and online editions. Experience in business reporting at a daily newspaper is preferred, 
as is the ability to speak Spanish. The Sun-Sentinel is located in Fort Lauderdale, in one of the most 
beautiful regions - and one of the most competitive media markets - in the country. In addition to the daily 
newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel also produces, reports for radio and television and a variety 
of specialty publications. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and up to 10 clips to 
Kathy Pellegrino, recruitment editor, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 
FL 33301 or to . The newspaper is also looking for two aggressive and 
enterprising reporters to fill community news reporting positions. They will write primarily for the Sunday 
Community News sections and also for the daily Community News Roundup pages in the Local section. 

The Department of Journalism in the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University has an 
opening for a tenure-track scholar/teacher with professional experience whose research and/or teaching 
interests address convergence issues and new media and journalism topics. The Ph.D. is preferred, though 
other applicants may be considered on the basis of professional stature and experience. 

Temple University is in Philadelphia, the nation’s fifth-largest media market. The university has more than 
34,000 students on regional and international campuses. For more information, please go to . Applicants should submit: (1) a cover letter indicating interest and relevant professional 
and academic background, including experience working with diverse populations and/or covering urban 
issues; (2) resume with each page signed and dated; (3) statement of teaching interests/philosophy; (4) 
statement of research/professional activity; and (5) names/contact information of at least three references. 
Review of applications will begin October 15,207 and continue until the position is filled. 

Apply to: Search Committee, Department of Journalism, Temple University, 316 Annenberg Hall, 

2020 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19122-6080. 

Black Alumni Network 

October 2007 

Page 4 

Under construction/continued from cover 

Also, greater, deliberate outreach may be evident in the increased giving to the Journalism Scholarship 
Fund. JefFRichard of the development office said alumni giving grew from $180,000 and 9-percent 
participation a few years ago to $540,000 and 17-percent participation in the fiscal year that ended June 30. 

A record 400 alumni attended the spring 2007 weekend. 

The transition team members are: Jerry Blake, ’88; Lou Boccardi, ’59; A’Lelia Bundles, ’76; 

Wayne Dawkins, ’80; Frances Hardin, ’77; Courtney Hazlett, ’05; Michael Kubin, ’05; 

Marquita Pool-Eckert, ’69; Sree Sreenivasan, ’93, and Irena Choi Stern, ’01. 

Alumni Association Strategic Plan Mission Statement: 

The Alumni Association of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism 

creates a lifelong bond among alumni and connects them to the students and faculty of the School. 

The Association works in partnership with the School and its Alumni Office to engage a diverse 
group of graduates worldwide through programs and services that address the needs of it members. 

The Association supports the mission, core values and ethics of the School of Journalism, 
and promotes the role of journalism in strengthening and sustaining democracy. 

PGOPlG/ Continued from front page 

Linda Wright Moore, ’73, is a senior communications officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
in Princeton, N.J. “Commuting to Princeton [from Philadelphia] is strenuous,” said Moore in an e-mail 
message, “but I’m thrilled to be working here on health and health policy issues, building on my long 
interest in the area.” Visit www.rwif.ora 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 

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Alumni leacWig tie lerees, page 3 

N©tWOrk Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ November 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 11 

Meet the 3 rd Phyllis T. Garland 
scholar at Columbia l-school 

Lylah Holmes, a broadcast student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is the third 
Black Alumni Network/Phyllis T. Garland Scholar, the J-school announced late last month. 

Holmes, [photo left] a 1998 Howard University graduate, is a former TV news 
producer who has spent the past 10 years covering national, international, live 
and breaking for various media networks. Holmes was a producer for CNN 
International based in London. At CNN, she produced live news shows about 
the Israeli-Lebanon war, the Iraq war, as well as the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. 

Before joining CNN International, Holmes worked as a free-lance producer for 
Associated Press Television News based in London. There, she wrote and 
produced stories about the death of Pope John Paul II, and Hurricane Katrina. 

Before moving abroad, Holmes was as segment producer for MSNBC in 
Secaucus, N.J. She began her career as a desk assistant at NBC News’ 
Washington bureau. Holmes’ hometown in Baltimore. 

Continued on next page 

Alumni giving attracted a big, Quality class, officials say 

In August, 342 students arrived at the Columbia University campus to attend the Graduate School 
of Journalism, reported the fall edition of 116 th & Broadway. In an Oct. 19 letter from Associate Dean Jeff 
Richard, he provided the updated breakdown: There are 287 new students at the school.* 

They came from across the United States and from 29 countries. International 
students make up one quarter of the class and minority students make up one third 
of the class. 

“Enrollment is up,” said Richard, “in a year when we have had more financial aid 
available than ever before, which leads us to believe that scholarships make a 
tremendous difference when students are deciding whether or not to attend.” 

And this note about the class of2007: At graduation last May, 60 percent had jobs secured. They are 
employed at news organizations such as the Washington Monthly, The New York Times, Newsday 
and the Associated Press. 

Continued on next page 

Black Alumni Network 

November 2007 

Page 2 

Trotter Group meeting in Philadelphia 

Thirty African-American columnists from around the nation engaged in a 14-hour- 
marathon of meeting with historians, activists, educators and policy makers Oct. 8. 

Betty Winston Baye, ’80, of 
Ky., brought a digital camera 
mural shot that graces the 
Read her columns, “Seeing 
and “Standing up for racial 
wind.” Wayne Dawkins, ’80, had his online column 
Distrust,” his piece on Justice Clarence Thomas, and 
interesting discovery underneath the Liberty Bell at 

The Courier-Journal of Louisville, 
and shot images, including the 
Philly, talking about street cred,” 
justice in spite of the shifting 
debut that day. Read “Supreme 
“Let Freedom Ring,” about an 

Political and Congressional Reporting Media Institute at the Watergate 

Seventy _ five earnest National Association of Black Journalists members spent their 

Saturday /T AJ and Sunday morning in workshops and presentations. Region 3 Director 
Charles ’ * ■* \ * Robinson wrote a roundup of the conference that’s posted at 

Martina Stewart, ’07, and Akisa Omulepu, ’07, were among the attendees. 

Incoming class/contmued 

In 2006-07, alumni gave $545,000, up 9 percent from $360,000 given in previous, recent fiscal year. 

In 2006-07,1,400 alumni, or 17 percent of the total J-school community, participated. 

The classes of 1952 [41 percent]; 1962 [35 percent]; 1954 and 1963 [32 percent each] 
and 1951 and 1970 [31 percent each] reported the highest rates of participation. 

An outstanding “young” class was 1997, which had 24 percent participation on its 10 th anniversary. 

*A number of students returned because 
they are in the two-year part-time program. 

New Phyl Garland scholar/continued 

Holmes joins Sabrina Ford, J-’07, and Dani McLain, ’06 as scholars. 

The BA N/Phyllis T. Garland Scholarship is $5,000. Tuition and fees is $43,400 at the J-school. 

The total bill including living expenses is $61,900. In order to fully endow the 
$100,000 in order to endow the Phyllis T. Garland Memorial Scholarship 
so the annual interest can provide $5,000 gifts, $35,080 is still needed. 

Garland, [1935-2006, photo at left] the first tenured black woman professor 
at the J-school, taught for 31 years and retired in 2004. 

As of October, $64,920 was collected. 

Send gifts, $50, $100, $500 or more, payable Columbia University and noting 
“Phyllis T. Garland Scholarship” in the lower left, to Columbia University GSJ, 
2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Attention: Jodi Lipper or Sharon M. Fox. 

Black Alumni Network 

November 2007 


The South Florida Sun-Sentinel seeks an aggressive, enterprising municipal reporter to cover the city of 
Pompano Beach. Pompano, one of Broward’s oldest cities, is diverse and politically active. Government, 
politics and watchdog reporting are at the core of this assignment, but sophisticated coverage of the 
neighborhoods and diverse people who make up this city and do business here also is essential. This 
assignment requires an experienced journalist with strong reporting and writing skills who can turn dailies 
on deadline and still make time to develop the weekenders and longer enterprise pieces that put issues in 
perspective. Strong source development skills are a must. Spanish skills as well as knowledge of computer- 
assisted reporting are preferred. The person who fills this job can expect to file reports to the Internet 
edition and to other media affiliated with the Sun-Sentinel. To apply, please send a cover letter, a resume 
and 8 to 10 work samples to Kathy Pellegrino, recruitment editor, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las 
Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. 

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel also seeks a staff photographer whose talent, passion and work ethic are 
exceeded only by his/her drive to capture compelling, exciting and storytelling pictures at every 
assignment. The ideal candidate also should be able to produce innovative multimedia pieces for Sun- Experience producing and editing video and sound slides in a fast moving, competitive 
environment is an advantage. Language skills, especially Spanish or Creole, are another plus. Come join 
an energetic, ambitious and experienced staff that puts an emphasis on outstanding photojournalism, 
multimedia, high ethical standards and diversity. Interested candidates should send a resume, cover letter 
and digital portfolio (photographs, multimedia and video packages) to Taimy Alvarez, director of 
photography, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 200 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FI. 33301 or . 

The 2008 Hearst Journalism Fellowship program is accepting applications through Dec. 1 of this year. 
During the two-year program, fellows complete three to four job rotations at Hearst newspapers. 

To apply: Print out an application from the Web site Send it with a resume, 
essay including you career goals, work samples if you have them - clips, photos and artwork, 
recommendations from professors, college administrators or professional colleagues. 

If you do not have a background in journalism, tell Hearst why you would be a good candidate 
for the program. To find out more about the program, write Hearst Fellowships, 801 Texas Ave., 
Houston, TX 77002 or visit the Web site. 


Addie M. Rimmer [photo, left], ’78, a doctoral student in the Adult Learning 
and Leadership Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, was among 
18 contributing authors to “Teaching the Levees,” a curriculum that used 
the Spike Lee HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke” as a text 
for democratic dialogues in schools, colleges and at community organizations. 
The curriculum is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. 

Donald Scott, ’90, told us his father-in-law, Wesley A. Brown, is 
the first black graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, in 1949. Read all about the construction 
of a $50 million building in Brown’s name at Annapolis at 

Scott is a professor at Community College of Philadelphia. 

Continued on next page 

Black Alumni Network 

November 2007 

Page 4 

People/ Continued 

Ann Simmons, ’88, of the Los Angeles Times, sent in her subscription renewal along with this cheerful 
note: “Back to November! For a stint.” 

That’s Baghdad, folks. While in Iraq at the end of 2003, Simmons was 
among three dozen injured when a New Year’s Eve bomb exploded at 
a Baghdad restaurant. Eight people were killed. At that time Simmons 
was the LA Times’ Nairobi bureau chief. 

In March 2006, she opened a Times bureau in New Orleans to do 
post-Hurricane Katrina coverage. [Photo: The News Hour on PBS] 

Mixed Media 

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials held a fake news conference and had its employees 
pose as reporters. The disaster relief response to last month’s San Diego-area wildfires was going well, 
FEMA officials said in response to “reporter’s” questions, and was much better than the agency’s 
inept response to the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast two years ago. 

Journalists on the NABJ listserv posted news accounts of the dubious exchange, like this one: 

The surreal stuff does not end there. A new phrase was introduced during the amazing fires that according 
to the San Jose Mercury News ravaged 516,000 acres and destroyed 2,000 houses: Fire tornado. 

Yes, at one point, 60- to 80-mph Santa Anna winds created a huge funnel cone of fire that terrorized 
Califomians. id=c35ccd56-5216- 


A dose of sanity emerged in all this madness. Georgia adolescent Genarlow Wilson was freed from prison. 
Esther Iverem, ’83, posted this account on her site 303.shtml 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheryl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 

THANK YOU October subscribers from Inglewood, Calif., Santa Clarita,, Calif., 
Brooklyn, N.Y., and Upper Marlboro, Md. 

PayPal is an option in addition to checks. At, ask for “August Press.” 

108 Terrell Road 
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$40 two years 


Alumni Season’s Greetings 

Network Newsletter /Our 27 th year/ December 2007/ Vol. 27, No. 12 

Hurry: Nov. 30 deadline to 
nominate outstanding alumni 

The Columbia Journalism School alumni awards are highly prized because they represent 
recognition of excellence by one’s professional peers. The awards are given to alumni 
of the Graduate School of Journalism for a distinguished journalism career in any 
medium, for an outstanding single accomplishment in journalism, for notable 
contributions to journalism education, or for achievement in related fields. The awards 
are given annually at the alumni weekend, which will be held April 4-6, 2008. 


Thinking about holiday gifts? Remember the Journalism Fund 

During the 2007 fiscal year, 1,400 alumni - 17 percent of the total J-school community - gave to the annual 
fund. Please open your hearts, and of course your purses, to fund educations for the next generation of 
outstanding journalists. Give special attention to the Phyllis T. Garland Memorial Scholarship that is to 
be permanently established as an endowment, a gift that keeps giving $5,000 annual awards. We are two- 
thirds of the way to the $100,000 required. Send gifts payable to Columbia University, noting “Phyllis T. 
Garland Scholarship” in the lower left, to Columbia Univ. GSJ, 2950 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10027. 

Meanwhile as Columbia J-school prepares for festive spring alumni weekend, reunion classes can rally 
their classmates to give in greater volume. For example the Class of’78 [30 th anniversary] had 17-percent 
participation in fiscal 2007; the Class of’83 [25 th anniversary] had 15-percent participation, and 
the Class of’88 [20* anniversary] had 12-percent participation. Eager to raise the bar? 

Alumna among 47 at Colonial Williamsburg 
redefining 21 s1 century American citizenship 

Betty Winston Baye, ’80, editorial writer/columnist with The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky. 

was among 47 delegates summoned to the House of Burgesses in Virginia’s 
Colonial Williamsburg to draft a new declaration of rights for the 21 st century. 

Winston Baye participated in the Nov. 9-11 “Dialogue in Democracy: Life, 

Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” a collaboration of MacNeil-Lehrer 
Productions and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. 

Watch the forum on PBS in January. Read Winston Baye’s account at www.courier- 

Black Alumni Network December 2007 

Page 2 

Carefully eyeing the l-man’s return 

During the Nov. 7 memorial service for Wayne Dawkins’ mother Iris C. 

[Sept. 27,1921-Oct. 25,2007], his Aunt Mabel McFarquhar told an anecdote 
about her big sister’s fierce sense honor and integrity. 

Dawkins connected the story to the return this month of Don Imus, the radio host 
who was forced off the air in April after calling Rutgers women basketball players 
“nappy headed ho’s.” 

Read the Nov. 12 column at 

Also read, “Barry Bonds’ green monster [Nov. 19] and Do they all sound alike, too [Nov. 6], 


Suzanne Malveaux. ’91, CNN White House correspondents, was among three alumni panelists 

participating in the “Covering Power” event moderated by Dean Nicholas Lemann 
Oct. 23. Malveaux has interviewed George W. and George H.W. Bush, and the Clintons, 
Bill and Hillary. 

At the NABJ Las Vegas convention in August, Malveaux asked Hillary Clinton if she 
was “black enough” to be a viable presidential candidate. 


In October, Elisabeth Bumiller, ’79, politics and policy Washington correspondent 
with The New York Times, and Mark Silva, ’76, White House correspondent with 
The Chicago Tribune, participated. 

’80 let us know that Spike Lee started filming “Miracle at St. Anna” in Tuscany 
on Oct. 15. McBride wrote the script for his 2002 novel. 

The movie’s scheduled release is late next year, via Touchstone/Disney. 

“Filming is going very well,” said McBride. “I was there over the summer when Spike 
was scouting locations. Spike is the real thing, deeply talented, and he believes in 
black people. He went to Europe to get financing for the film, so he could make the film 
he believed in. It really tells the story of the African-American soldier in World War II. 
There’s nothing like it.” 

After 13 years, Gayle T. Williams, ’86, left Gannett Suburban Newspapers/The 
Journal News last month where she worked as a reporter, reader services editor, 
editorial writer, assistant features editor and assistant managing editor/features. 

Williams is now deputy health editor for Consumer Reports ma g azin e. 

Akua Lezli Hope, ’77, of upstate New York, championed the cause of Troy Davis, a Georgia death row 
inmate who was within 24 hours of execution in July, but received a 90-day stay because of 34,000 
citizen appeals claiming Davis’ probable innocence. 

Davis was convicted of killing a police officer without physical evidence, and seven of nine witnesses 
recanted or altered their testimony, wrote Lezli Hope. Read more at 

www.kintera.orq/c.isKSL9POLrF/b.3227587/k.30BE/Tell 10 Friends about Troy Pavis/siteaDDs/email/spre 


Black Alumni Network 

December 2007 

Page 3 

Trane's Reign 

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound 

By Ben Ratliff [Farrar, Straus & Giroux. September 2007, $24] 

By Kip Branch 

Even if you’re not one of the people like myself who had the pleasure of being transformed and transfixed 
after seeing John Coltrane live but love Black Classical Music [aka jazz and the term of art for Trane’s 
music], a delightful read awaits you in Ben Ratliffs new book. I don’t remember Ratliff saying whether 
or not he ever saw Trane [a question that almost all Trane lovers casually ask as conversations about 
the great man deepen], but I did - five or six times in various venues beginning at the former 
Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. 

I remember that I was young, 16, or because I had just gotten a driver’s license. Worried, I had parked my 
car close enough to the club so that it wouldn’t be broken into, or so I thought. The car did get broken into 
and was somewhat ransacked, but after I left the club around 4 a.m. after having seen Coltrane and his 
classic group - Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison - it didn't matter. Like the other patrons 
in the bar [I was underage but the proprietor never asked for ID] the cool air of that summer morning 
provided the cap for one of the most memorable nights of music I had ever seen. 

Over the years I would have the same kind of feeling after seeing other musicians like Coltrane’s muse 
and mentor Miles Davis and his classic groups, of which Coltrane was a member during the 1950s, but 

never would I forget the sheer power and strength and majesty of that night 
and the sound, above all the sound that came from the group and Coltrane 
on tenor and soprano saxophones. 

While he captures effectively what others have to say about Coltrane's music 
in the second part of his book, in the first part Ben Ratliff examines and 
captures Coltrane’s sound in an interesting and engaging way. He is so 
effective, I might add that even a musical novice like myself is able to go 
back and read again the passages that explain Coltrane’s music in almost 
pure musical terms. And Ratliff accomplished this through the voices of 
musicians who were there during the crucial periods of Coltrane’s 
development. This gives Ratliff’s writing more clarity and credibility. 

“After he had shaken loose of his early heroes - Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon - Coltrane 
started to learn in a more indirect sense, rather than simply by storing up phrases in his bank. 

“The same goes for his time with Miles Davis. Coltrane told Valerie Wilmer that Miles gave him ‘an 
appreciation for simplicity,’ and that before joining his band he used to dream of playing tenor saxophone 
‘the way Miles played trumpet.’ 

“But when I joined him, he [Coltrane] explained, ‘I realized that I would never play like that, and I think 
that's what made me go the opposite way - toward mosaics of sixteenth notes, toward stacking chords on 
top of chords.’” This further intensified Coltrane’s search for his own voice and certainly contributed to 
the use of modes that would characterize his greatest period - the 1960s. Ratliff makes the point that any 
number of musicians influenced Coltrane, but in many ways, musical, simple and prescient, Davis and 
his genius helped produce and influence Coltrane's musical and social development. 

Ratliff writes of Coltrane's stint in 1957 with the Davis band: “‘Straight, No Chaser,’ from the Feb. 4 
Columbia session - it would end up on the LP “Milestones” - is one of the great Coltrane moments. He 
enters after a solo by [Cannonball] Adderley and then a deftly cute improvisation [Continued, next page] 

Black Alumni Network December 2007 Page 4 

[Continued from previous page] by Davis, picking up the last note of Davis’ solo; then assumes 
the blues form of the well-known Monk tune and then explodes it, getting beyond the form.” 

Ask Wynton Marsalis, the man who many say carries the mantle Coltrane and the others left behind 
and who is the generally regarded savior of jazz, and he'll tell you the music is Black Classical Music. 

No where was it most recently - and beautifully - on display than at Duke University during the school’s 
celebration of another North Carolina native son and jazz musicians like Coltrane, Thelonious Monk. 

It’s easy to write both too much and too little about Ratliffs work because it is just that good. The book 
also had so personally en g a g in g moments for me including my friend the writer Dr. Cuthbert Simpkins 
and his work being cited by Ratliff for having accurately described a 1958 review in Down Beat 
of Coltrane’s work with the Davis band at the Newport Jazz Festival as a “very dumb-assed review.” 

Said the Down Beat review: “Although Miles continues to play with delicacy and infinite grace, his group’s 
solidarity is hampered by the angry tenor of Coltrane. Backing himself into rhythmic comers on flurries of 
notes, Coltrane sounded like the personification of motion-without-progress in jazz.... With the exception 
of Miles’ vital contribution, then, the group proved more confusing to listeners than educational.” 

Ratliff writes: “This was the period when Coltrane occasioned two of jazz's most famous punch lines. 

They both amount to the same things. One came from Cannonball Adderley: “Once in a while, Miles might 
say, ‘Why did you play so long, man?’ and John would say, ‘It took that long to get it all in.’” The other 
seems to have no definite source. Coltrane says to Davis that he can’t figure out a way to stop his solos. 
Davis retorts: “Why don't you try taking the horn out of your mouth.” 

Jewels of writing abound in “Coltrane: The Story of a Sound” and Ratliff deserves kudos for his detective 
work and interviewing. He also deserves much credit for making this reviewer and music fan do what I 
think many will do: Go back and either listen to their full Coltrane discographies or at least go out and buy 
valuable pieces of Coltrane’s work like “Coltrane Live at Birdland” and “Coltrane Live at the Village 
Vanguard.” - Branch, a 1978 Columbia Journalism graduate, is a professor at Elizabeth City [N.C.] State University. 

The Black Alumni Network of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism [1980-] 
publishes monthly. The BA Newsletter’s mission is to keep people connected. Log on to Wayne J. Dawkins - editor, Betty Winston Baye, 
Kissette Bundy, Angela Chatman, Cheiyl Devall, Dan Holly, Keith Rushing, contributing editors 
E-mail tips, comments to or call 800-268-4338 

THANKS new and renewing subscribers from Washington, D.C., Northern N.J., and Maryland. 
PayPal is an option in addition to checks. Visit and ask for “August Press.” 




108 Terrell Road 

P.O. Box 6693 

Newport News, VA 23606 


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$40 two years